(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
December 8, 2023
Cuban right-handed pitcher Miguel Romero will play for Tiburones de La Guaira for the remainder of the 2023-24 Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional regular season, Yusseff Diaz of Pelota Cubana USA reported on Friday.
Diaz also reported that Tomateros de Culiacán of Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico released him on Friday prior to Romero’s signing with Tiburones.
He went 2-2 in Mexico during the 2023-24 season in four starts posting a 3.43 ERA throwing 21 innings allowing 18 hits, eight earned runs, three home runs, seven walks, 10 strikeouts, and a 1.190 WHIP.
Romero, 29, was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, and was released by the Oakland Athletics on May 23, 2023. Romero went 0-1 appearing in 14 games posting a 6.60 ERA allowing 15 hits, 11 earned runs, two home runs, 13 walks, and 12 strikeouts with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Romero began his professional career as an 18-year-old in the Serie Nacional de Béisbol, the primary professional baseball league in Cuba operated from the Federación Cubana de Béisbol. In four years with the Indios de Guantanamo, Romero appeared in 46 games and had a 4.80 ERA.
He signed with the Oakland Athletics as an international free agent in 2017 and advanced quickly through their system. Romero was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019, but was never called up to Major League Baseball. Romero’s best statistical minor league season came in 2019, recording a win-loss record of 4-1 with 81 strikeouts in 72.2 innings.
Romero pitched in 10 games in 2019-20 with Indios de Mayaguez of Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, the winter professional baseball league in Puerto Rico. He recorded a 1.46 ERA and had 13 strikeouts in 12.1 innings. He returned to Puerto Rico in the winter of 2022-23, playing for Gigantes de Carolina. Romero allowed no earned runs and six hits in seven innings.
In his three seasons in the winter leagues in Puerto Rico and Mexico, Romero has a lifetime 5-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in four starts and 19 appearances posting five saves while throwing 40.1 innings, allowing 36 hits, 10 earned runs, three home runs, 16 walks, 29 strikeouts, and a 1.289 WHIP.
Romero played for Cuba in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and was named one of three pitchers on the All-Tournament Team. The other two were Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval, both members of the Los Angeles Angels. Romero led the tournament in strikeouts with 13 and pitched in five games for Cuba. No other pitcher in the World Baseball Classic appeared in more than four. Opposing hitters had a combined .219 batting average against Romero at the WBC. Cuba won Pool A of the World Baseball Classic but lost to the United States 14-2 in the semifinals.
Romero is also committed to playing for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes in the 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol regular season.
Romero can open options to the Federación Cubana de Beisbol to be part of the pitching rotation as a starter or a reliever in the Premier 12 tournament which will be after the regular seasons in Major League Baseball, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Nippon Professional Baseball, the Korean Baseball Organization, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.
Cuba is ranked No. 8 in the World Baseball Rankings through the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The WBR will change over on December 31, 2023 for the final announcement of the participating nations that will play in the Premier 12 tournament from November 10-24.