SSG Landers’ new foreign pitcher, Annie Romero, is a player the club has been watching since four years ago.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Romero played for the Chunichi Dragons in the 2019 season of Nippon Professional Baseball. At that time, he was first caught on the radar network of the SK Wyverns (now SSG) scouting team. At that time, SK set out to recruit foreign pitcher Romero for the 2020 season. We figured out what the contract renewal conditions were with Chunichi and estimated at what level the contract was possible. However, he could not sign the contract for various reasons. Internally, the final decision has not been made, and the Corona 19 pandemic hit the world ahead of the start of the 2020 season spring camp. 안전놀이터
I was trying to recruit Romero in 2021 too. At the time, in the middle of the season, foreign pitcher Lewicki was sick and was looking for a replacement player. After his contract with Chunichi was over, Romero, who had been with the Los Angeles Dodgers after returning to the United States, was released from the team and was looking for a new team. But at that time, the Chiba Lotte Marines were one step faster. When Lotte recruited Romero, he entered the Japanese stage again, and SK was unable to sign a contract.
And in the fall after the 2022 season, another opportunity came. SSG was looking for a new foreign pitcher due to Wilmer Font’s major league challenge and the abandonment of a contract renewal with Sean Morrimando. Of course, Romero was a player who was constantly being checked. The opportunity just came. As Chiba Lotte pursued team innovation, it went through a period of great change. Despite Romero’s good performance in Chiba Lotte’s starting lineup, he did not receive an active love call to renew his contract, and SSG moved quickly this time. And finally, the contract was successful. In Japan, there are many voices of regret that Chiba Lotte did not renew the contract with Romero.
There was also a ‘question mark’ right before the contract. Romero, who suffered from shoulder inflammation in the past, was uncertain about his shoulder condition this time around. So, SSG cross-checked several times with various experts from the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Korea to accurately check his physical condition. He checked about 5 places, and as a result, it was concluded that there was no problem leading the season.
Romero is currently at SSG’s Vero Beach, Florida, USA camp. On the 8th (Korean time), he also pitched his first bullpen. He checked his condition by throwing 30 pitches with a mixture of various pitches. Romero said, “I heard that the KBO League is a league that is very difficult for pitchers to adapt to. I am close with Ivan Nova, who played for SSG, and I heard a lot about Korea,” he said. I have already prepared the condition to be able to do it. I like aggressive pitching, and my strength is to make the hitter feel the pressure when he enters the plate,” he appealed with strong confidence.
Romero is the first starting candidate who needs to perform more than the font last season. He should take the center of the rotation as a 1-3 starter along with Kim Gwang-hyun and Kirk McCarty. As much as his shoulders are heavy, the expectations for him are high. He should change the question mark to an exclamation mark.