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Report: St. Louis Cardinals Nearing Deal with Free Agent Lefty Reliever J.C. Romero

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FOX's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the St. Louis Cardinals are nearing a deal with free agent left-handed relief pitcher J.C. Romero. Romero spent parts of the 2011 season in three organizations. He began the year with the Phillies but was released by the National League East champions. Romero was then picked up by the Yankees but never made it past AAA in their organization. After being cut loose by New York the Rockies signed him. He threw 8.1 innings for Colorado at the big league level. In many ways, Romero is similar to fellow Lefty One-Out Guy (LOOGY) Trever Miller, who the Cardinals traded to the Blue Jays as a part of the Rasmus trade last summer.

Here is a comparison of the two LOOGY's lines for the 2011 season:

Pitcher

IP

K/9

BB/9

LOB

ERA

FIP

xFIP

Miller

21.1

5.06

5.06

82.9%

3.80

5.09

5.93

Romero

24.2

6.93

5.47

70.4%

4.01

3.96

4.70

Here is a comparison of the two LOOGY's career lines:

Pitcher

IP

K/9

BB/9

LOB

ERA

FIP

xFIP

Miller

523.1

7.46

4.08

74.0%

4.18

4.39

4.42

Romero

649.1

7.21

5.16

73.9%

4.07

4.47

4.56

One rather large difference between the two lefties that I couldn't fit into my charts is their groundball rates. The pitching democrat Dave Duncan likely sees something he can work with in Romero who has a career groundball rate of 55.6% (compared to Miller, who has a career groundball rate of just 38.8%).

The Cardinals' bullpen is getting crowded. Romero would combine with Marc Rzepczynski to make it two southpaws in the Cardinals relief corps. With the announcement that the club has tendered a contract to the dead-armed Kyle McClellan it will be interesting to see the bullpen's composition when the Cardinals head north from Jupiter. There are just seven spots available and eight pitchers to choose from: Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Kyle McClellan, Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Lynn, Rzepczynski, and Romero.