MIAMI - The Nationals’ ever-changing bullpen appears destined for another change after Enny Romero had to leave tonight’s loss to the Marlins with a forearm strain that manager Dusty Baker said likely will send the left-hander to the disabled list.
Pitching the sixth inning in what was a blowout loss to Miami, Romero faced four batters, allowing a run. He said he felt the tightness in his forearm after throwing a changeup to Giancarlo Stanton, then attempted one more fastball after that. Despite blowing a 97 mph heater past Stanton for the strikeout, Romero departed the game after that pitch.
“I was unsure, so I tried to throw a fastball to see if I still felt it again, and I did feel it again,” the reliever said, via interpreter Octavio Martinez. “That’s why I stopped.”
Romero said he hasn’t ever dealt with an issue like this before, only a few occasions of back spasms earlier this season.
“I’ve never had any issues with my arm,” the 26-year-old said.
Despite some erratic performances along the way, Romero has emerged as one of the Nationals’ more effective options in a bullpen that has struggled from the outset. Entering tonight’s game, he had a 2.05 ERA and .232 batting average against over his last 24 appearances.
Though an official decision may not come until Friday, when the Nationals open a weekend series in Chicago, Baker admitted tonight the club is going to be cautious with Romero, likely placing him on the DL and recalling Sammy Solís only hours after the left-hander was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
“We’re looking at it, yeah, and we gotta call back Sammy,” Baker said. “And this has kind of been the story for the year, where we put (someone) on the DL and then (have to recall a player who was sent down fewer than the minimum 10 days). ... I’m just glad we’ve got the personnel and bodies to cover.”