ST. PETERSBURG - Left-hander Enny Romero will be recalled Sunday and make his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles in the third game of their key four-game series.
Romero, 22, who can hit 100 mph on the radar gun with his fastball and has twice been selected for the World team at the Futures Game, made 27 starts this season for Double-A Montgomery and one for Triple-A Durham. He was 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA with the Biscuits. He threw eight shutout innings against Norfolk in his lone start with the Bulls.
The Rays are hoping the hard-throwing lefty will catch the Orioles off guard, much like Matt Moore did to the Yankees and Rangers in September and October, 2011.
Alex Cobb saving the bullpen from much work in Saturday’s win will give the Rays plenty of backup if Romero doesn’t pitch deep into the game.
The need for a starter arose when Jeremy Hellickson pitched the final 2 1/3 innings in Friday’s 18-inning win against the Orioles. Hellickson was originally scheduled to pitch this afternoon.
With no off days since Sept. 9, the Rays can’t juggle their rotation. All five starters have been pitching on five days rest during the final 20 games of the season, which will be played over 20 days.
The Rays also traded Durham right-hander Frank De Los Santos on Saturday to the Chicago White Sox for cash or a player to be named later. That opens a spot on the 40-man roster that could be used Sunday if the Rays activate right-hander Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) and add him to the bullpen.