Nats still expect 'big things' from Seth Romero

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By 106.7 The Fan

The Nationals were joined on their trip to New York by Seth Romero, the elusive prospect and former first-round draft pick they still have big plans for, and who may finally get his first crack at the big leagues in Washington's series against the Mets.

The 24-year-old lefty has endured frequent setbacks, some of his own accord, in his career since being selected 25th overall by Washington in 2017. Now, as a member of the Nats' traveling taxi squad (the supply of reserves each MLB club has been granted to help manage the ongoing pandemic), Romero has a chance to make good on his club's commitment to him.

"We're expecting big things from him," Nats GM Mike Rizzo told The Sports Junkies in his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance, presented exclusively by Burke & Herbert Bank.

"He's a left-handed starter, which is something that we have a need for in this organization," Rizzo said. "We brought him with us on the taxi squad because, if we need another left-handed reliever or a spot starter, this guy would probably be one of the first guys that we would reach for, because we think he's going to throw enough strikes, his stuff is good enough and we don't think he'll be too enamored or overwhelmed by being in the big leagues."

Romero entered the league with a checkered past in college, where he was twice suspended at the University of Houston before ultimately being kicked off the team. Those troubles followed him into his professional career, as Romero was sent home early from spring training in March 2018 after violating club policy.
While the details of his infraction were never disclosed (he reportedly broke curfew, repeatedly), Romero wouldn't make his season debut until June of that year, at Class-A Hagerstown. After just seven appearances, his season was over, as Romero needed Tommy John surgery. In that way, Romero's the prospect with tremendous upside that's yet to materialize.

"He's been sidetracked by a few different issues, mostly importantly the Tommy John surgery that's kept him out for a year," Rizzo said.

"Seth's coming off Tommy John. He didn't pitch at all in '19," Rizzo said. "He's a terrific prospect that we drafted in '17 and he's got good stuff. He's a big, tall, lanky left-handed pitcher. He's got a good fastball, curve, changeup mix. He throws a lot of strikes. He doesn't seem to be fazed by his first kind of taste around big-league people and big-league players."

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