Why? Something Romano didn’t even do! A decision he did not have anything whatsoever to do with. But any excuse to create a little extra motivation is a good one these days, and the Yankees have a legitimate reason to hate Romano a little bit more: he stole the April award that rightfully belonged to their teammate, Michael King.
King was objectively the breakout reliever of April 2022 by almost any metric. Surface-level? King’s got you covered with an 0.61 ERA and 22 whiffs in 14.2 innings pitched, erasing both jams and innings with ruthless efficiency, Garrett Whitlock-style.
Below the hood? King posted an 0.71 FIP, and glowing-red Statcast numbers (98th percentile in K percentage), other than his surprisingly low hard-hit percentage.
Romano? He finished the month in a solid place, though his 1.46 ERA and 2.36 FIP indicate he’s due for some regression. So do his advanced metrics, which show a pitcher with an elite fastball and precious little else thus far in 2022 after he made his name in 2021.
Hey, MLB? This doesn’t matter at all, but also FIX THIS.
Yankees’ Michael King clearly earned AL Reliever of the Month for April, something we should not be angry about but are!!
Not only has Romano not been upper-echelon, but his “stuff” appears to be among the worst in baseball. The league is now rewarding luck, giving the Jays closer some hardware for a month where he finished in the fifth percentile in average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. Romano got ripped around the ballpark, even relative to his competitors, and the dead ball rewarded him with a trophy. Unbelievable.
Now, of course nobody wants to read Yankee fans whining about being snubbed for April honors. Except the data doesn’t bear that out, and many people do want to read it, so we’re going to continue.
Hey, why did King get snubbed for literally doubling up any possible AL competitor in reliever fWAR?
King’s been worth a win all by himself in 2022, both anecdotally (the Chapman/Jays game) and statistically.
He may not be the AL’s King, but he’s My King. And that should be enough, but it isn’t.
So, I beg of you, Yankees: rock Jordan Romano into the gaps. Gleyber, poke one to right. Take your walks. Hit the ball as hard as the rest of the league already has. Get King his dish best served cold.