Coming off his first season in the Yankee organization, Josh Romanski was impressive in 2010. He sported an 8-5 record with a 3.33 ERA in just over 100 innings while splitting time between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa. While he is happy with how well he pitched last year, he is focused on improving on those numbers.
"You just can't ever be content with what you did the year before, no matter how good it was," Romanski said. "I had some decent success, and I'm just going to use that to build off of, just use it as confidence to springboard me into a good 2011 season."
He said that during spring training, he worked on making a few adjustments to his windup. He sped it up while also making an addition to it in which he now raises his hands above his head instead of just leaving them down by his side.
"I think that helped me get more on line with the plate," stated the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Romanski, who added that he also worked on improving the location of his cutter.
Romanski evaluated his first spring training in Tampa as a good one, saying that he was pleased with it. Pitching Coach Jeff Ware said that while Romanski didn't pitch "great" during spring training, it was towards the end of it when he really excelled.
"A lot of times pitchers don't come into spring training and throw all that well, and they use it as a building process to make sure they're ready for the beginning of the season," Ware said. "I think that's what Romo did. His last outing of spring training, he threw the ball really well."
Romanski followed up his solid finish to spring training with a successful start to the 2011 regular season. In his first start, he went six innings, giving up just one run on three hits en route to earning a victory. Everything seemed to be working for Romanski that game.
"The other day when he pitched here, he threw the ball extremely well, with his command, throwing his fastball on both sides of the plate, throwing all three of his secondary pitches for strikes whenever he wanted in any count," Ware said in reference to Romanski's first action of 2011.
"He worked ahead of the hitters, and you have to be able to work ahead of the hitters. He mixed his pitches really well. He didn't have any patterns. He could throw any pitch in any count at any time, and anytime you can do that and locate your pitches, you're going to have a lot of success."
The 24-year-old lefty certainly has found success at both the Low-A and High-A level, making it seem like he could be ready to take the next step up at some point. With each stride towards the next level of pro ball, though, there is always a component to improve upon.
Ware believes that for Romanski to make it to Double-A, he will need to work on his overall command and vary the utilization of his secondary pitches.
"Instead of just throwing [his] curveball and slider in the same area, we need to start back-dooring his curveball and start back-footing his sliders, using his two-seam fastball to both sides of the plate, which are more advanced type pitches.
"He's a guy that should be able to do that in his timeframe and start doing it now," Ware said.
For Romanski, he just wants to continue going about his business the same way he has been.
"I just have to keep doing what I'm doing," he said. "I just have to continue to improve myself every outing, continue to locate all four of my pitches and I think if I continue to do that, I'll be in Double-A eventually."
The four pitches Romanski referred to could really be considered five. With a fastball that tops out around 90 mph, along with a mid-70s curveball, a low 80s cutter/slider, high-70s changeup and a two-seam fastball to boot, Romanski has a full repertoire of pitches to work with.
Seeing as though he already has five in his arsenal, Romanski said he wants to stay focused on improving on those, rather than learning yet another pitch.
"Right now I'm going to pitch mix until I might need something else," Romanski stated. "It seems to be working for me so I'm just going to keep trying to get better at throwing those."
Romanski Not At All Content
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