Back in May, I tried to tell Gardy about JC Romero and inherited runners. But he just didn't want to hear it. A few days later, he dismissed these concerns in an interview with the Star Trib's LaVelle E. Neal:
"He didn't throw the pitch where he wanted it, but he has been throwing the ball fine," Gardenhire said. "I know you guys keep all these mad stats about runners inherited and stuff."
But now, with 102 of 162 games under our belts and the trade deadline looming (presumably Romero is on the market, if anyone wants him), it seems like a fine time to revisit that critical relievers' stat.
The staff average excluding Romero, by the way, is 22.7%, which would translate into six or seven fewer runs so far. What that would have done for the team record, who knows? But if runs are like gold, as they say, then Romero's looking like a lousy investment.
And he's not getting any better:
The longer he sees regular work with runners on, the more poorly he handles it. It looks like they tossed him into the deep end in 2002, and he swam. Since then, they've been unable to forget that fabulous year and unable to remember the horrors that have occurred in the meantime.
Gardy, darling, these aren't "mad stats". These are a trend, and a bad one. Do everyone a favor--put Romero in to start innings, where he thrives, exclusively. He'll be happier, you'll be happier, and we'll be ecstatic.