Year later, Romero a Cardinal
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:00 pm
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Sitting on a stool in front of his locker and surrounded by his new teammates in the St. Louis clubhouse, pitcher J.C. Romero looked quite comfortable in the spot where he thought he would be a year ago.
The 35-year-old left-hander had expected to sign with Cardinals before last season. Instead, he bounced between four organizations and six different major and minor league teams.
“I thought I had a deal worked out (with St. Louis) but it didn’t happen,” Romero said. “From the past I always enjoyed coming to St. Louis and I always enjoyed watching them from the other side, how they execute the game.”
Romero said he doesn’t think much about missing out on the Cardinals’ run to the World Series title last season. “Things happen for a reason,” he said.
And though he is not sporting a 2011 World Series ring, Romero does recognize the championship energy that has permeated the opening days of Cardinals’ camp. He experienced a similar atmosphere in the spring of 2009, months after he helped Philadelphia win the World Series.
“They are hungry,” Romero said. “They are looking forward to this season knowing that they have a title they have to defend, but at the same time they are going for a second straight title.”
Romero is not expected to play a key role, though he likely will be asked to take the mound frequently. As the Cardinals’ left-handed specialist, Romero likely will have to face only one or two batters an outing. It’s a role in which he’s been effective.
Since 2000, Romero has appeared in 659 games, most among active left-handed pitchers.
Published in The Messenger 2.23.12