I can't imagine why people think this guy will 'bounce back'. He had 2 decent months in a 3 year career now. He was bad for 4 of 6 months in 2010, his 2011 stats were a complete mirage compared to his peripherals and he was bad pretty much all of 2012. His only plus pitches at this point are his change up and curve, he has a well below average FB, he plays on a bad defensive team in a massive hitters park in a hitters division. His SWSTR% actually went down last year as did his first pitch strike %. His velocity even dropped. There are just no indicators that this guy has any chance to rebound.
Having said that he is miles ahead of Henderson Alvarez. Whoever decided this guy was a sleeper the last 2 years is just crazy. There was never any reason to think he was fantasy viable. That guy has to be the most confusing fantasy sleeper in MLB history because it was so obvious that he was useless going into last year.
He sucked last year, but Romero was a 3+ win pitcher between 2009-2011 (9.8 fWAR combined). That's quite good, especially considering the division.
I don't exactly know why he was so bad last year (could be injury related, he had offseason knee surgery to alleviate pain and his delivery has always seemed to me to be the kind that would cause a lot of wear and tear) or whether he'll bounce back to his 2009-2011 level, but he was always a pretty irrelevant fantasy option anyway. I can't see why anybody would touch him in a draft.
Well, I can see taking a chance on him late in a draft if you bank on him being a 5th starter on a strong team. Unlike the usual dregs at that rotation spot, Romero could possibly stand a fighting chance to rack up some wins. If it's a deep league he is definitely worthy of drafting for that gamble of even a slight return to ability. Plus, we've seen veterans return with decent stats after being left for dead even a few years past their effectiveness (Burnett, Zito, perhaps Wakefield). Romero isn't an early or mid-round pick, but he is certainly draftable.
Sure he might turn in a Zito year but that isn't valuable either. His fastball stinks, he relies on his sinker to have any real value. The sinker is not a strike out pitch and it tends to be a WHIP killer. If you are ever thinking Romero is going to repeat 2011 you are wrong though, that was nothing but a lot of good luck. HIs upside is really a 3.8 ERA, 1.28 WHIP guy who strikes out 7 per 9. That is a free agent pitcher in all but the deepest of leagues. This is exactly the skillset you want to avoid in fantasy baseball, not draft as a sleeper. Burnett has a valuable skillset for fantasy, there was a good reason to be chasing him, Romero shouldn't even be on your draft board. He is someone you pick up if he has a good run and drop once he has a bad outing.
Ender wrote: HIs upside is really a 3.8 ERA, 1.28 WHIP guy who strikes out 7 per 9.
Which is exactly why Cueto is such a bad pick early. He's already a 6.5 - 7k per 9 guy and while he'll likely give better ratios he can easily be a 3.5 ERA 1.25 WHIP guy to go along with those sub par K numbers.
Yeah I was bad mouthing Romero last year too but I didn't happen to get in on that one .
Now the fact I just drafted Hellickson in the Pond Scum league might seem hypocritical since he has the same type of skillset but I honestly think his K/9 is going to jump this year. He has always generated more swinging strikes than his K/9 suggests and he saw an uptick in every peripheral last year as the year wore on and even posted a K/9 over 8 in the final 2 months. He also had a history of better Ks in the minors.
I am not going near Romero either. I do think that Toronto's infield defense will improved this year. Lawrie is pretty good (UZR likes him). With Reyes the left side should be solid. I think they are leaning towards Izturis because of his defense. Lind is non-terrible. And EE shouldn't need a glove all year.
He played with various lingering injuries for most of last year. It wouldn't surprise me if he has a better season than Buherle. I'm not banking on him returning to fools gold ace quality but I'll be looking to buy him low in my AL-only dynasty league. He can't be that bad again.
Here's the pitch on the way, a swing and a belt! Left field! Way back! BLUE JAYS WIN!