RomeroHRFSGI’ll have an Arizona Fall League Notebook sometime in the next few weeks, but the circuit’s All-Star matchup was Saturday night — they call it the Fall-Stars Game … get it? — and Seattle Mariners outfielder Stefen Romero received two plate appearances and made the most of them as he and his West teammates were victorious behind those long balls and three strong innings from Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer.

Yeah, great, Romero hit two home runs in a meaningless game. Partially true. The game doesn’t mean a thing. What Romero did in the game is not futile and trivial.

The 25-year-old is far from an elite prospect, but he’s one that could help a big-league club in some capacity and that may occur in 2014. His two PAs Saturday night in the desert weren’t just two more at-bats for a young hitter. They came off two very worthy adversaries in Rays southpaw Mike Montgomery and Tigers’ right-hander Corey Knebel, and both went opposite field.

Neither ball was exactly torched, and there’s a good chance neither one leaves Safeco Field in April or May, but Romero showed a sound swing on both, staying back on a breaking ball on the second four-bagger. He doesn’t stride much, but still creates solid power and should be able to hit a good number of doubles with 15-18 homers if the hit tool and his outfield defense develops enough to warrant everyday play.

The fact that he’s not over-matched in these games is a sign he’s still improving, despite being a tad old to be a prospect.

Here’s’s video of both homers:


  1. “We don’t know if Felix can hold up long term but he got nine figures.”

    This is absurd, and I expect better out of you, mg. Felix was never abused to any lengths prior to his contract, for starters. Second, he was a proven commodity in the United States. Tanaka in no way is comparable to Felix Hernandez’s situation. Only similarities are position and handedness, which mean exactly ZERO here.

  2. I agree in part, but this whole argument that Seattle, even if they bid for Tanaka, would ultimately win the bid. It’s not so simple, unless you believe that Seattle should be willing to bid so high that other teams are instantly out of the running. If you eliminate all the teams likely not to bid, Seattle still has to outbid some of the wealthiest teams in baseball. And about Darvish, yes, his $20 million a season is probably consistant with the market. So, let’s flip it a bit. Tanaka is truly an unknown, when compared to Darvish. I’d have no problem if Seattle won the bid. But, to conclude that any bid is acceptable for Tanaka is not good business.

    I’m not sure why you are including Ellsbury in your comment, other than an age comparison. So what? Tanaka stands a greater chance of a torn rotator cuff injury. Ellsbury is also a position that needs help now. Seattle has pitching prospects beyond Walker and Paxton. I would much rather see Seattle extend Iwakuma, sign Ellsbury, and sign Colon, Garza or another pitcher with a track record of success in the AL

    There are a lot of ways to go in the offseason. Success is not likely tied to Tanaka, or any single player. Seattle’s minor league strength is pitching. With the potential of four draft picks in the first two rounds, odds are good that at least two of those picks will be pitchers, based on this draft class.

    And, one unknown factor is what Tanaka’s personal motivation is, in regard to playing in Seattle. As Jason said about Darvish, his representatives may make it clear that he won’t sign with Seattle. I know some think that any free agent that’s available, is also available to Seattle. We know that’s not true.

  3. We don’t know if Felix can hold up long term but he got nine figures. Nolan Ryan threw more pitches than that many times as did many other pitchers in the 1950-1980’s. Darvish costs Texas about $20 million a season, that’s not bad in today’s market. Tanaka costs money but not prospects or a draft pick. Getting him also makes a statement to fans that the team is prepared to pay to win. He’s also more than five years younger than Ellsbury and just entering his prime not just exiting it. With him they could consider trading Walker for a prime OF right-handed bat. He’s valuable, hence his price is high for a reason.

  4. What we don’t know, mg, is whether or not Tanaka can hold up long term. We don’t know that of any pitcher, let alone one that’s been abused like that.

    He’s NOT worth Darvish+ money, particularly to Seattle.

  5. Beats striking out twice. As he’s from Tucson he had a crowd of family and friends at the game, they must have loved it. Good for him.

    Masahiro Tanaka threw 176 pitches in two days! A day after throwing 160 pitches in game 6 but losing for the first time in thirty starts he threw 16 more pitches to close out Game 7 as the Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants 3-0 in Game 7 of the Japan Series on Sunday to win their first championship.
    Rakuten starter Manabu Mima held the Giants to one hit while striking out five over six scoreless innings for the win. Rookie Takahiro Norimoto pitched two scoreless innings of relief and 24-game winner Tanaka retired the side in the ninth. The Giants are the oldest and most successful team in Japanese baseball with 22 championships.
    I don’t think he’ll have any problem pitching every fifth day instead of every sixth day. I think his nickname is something like Iron Arm, if it isn’t it should be.

  6. Good for Romero, wish him we’ll.

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