Jose Berrios And Fernando Romero, Recent Former Lookouts, Now Pitching For The Minnesota Twins

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - by Tim Evearitt
Jose Berrios is quickly becoming the ace of the starting rotation for Minnesota.
Jose Berrios is quickly becoming the ace of the starting rotation for Minnesota.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Those who follow the careers of Chattanooga Lookouts players are aware that in the past few years many Lookouts are now in the Major Leagues. Among these are two outstanding right-handed pitchers - Jose Berrios and Fernando Romero with the Minnesota Twins. 

At age 21, Jose Berrios split the 2015 season with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester. He went 14-5 overall - 8-3 with the Lookouts and 6-2 with the Red Wings. Berrios struck out 175 batters in 166 1/3 innings for both teams combined and carried a 2.87 ERA. 

The Twins promoted Berríos to make his major league debut on April 27, 2016.  Berrios pitched phenomenally throughout the 2017 season. He had 11 strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies, which was a career high.

He made his first start of the 2018 season on April 1, 2018. He pitched a complete game three-hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles, with 6 strikeouts, leading the Twins to a 7-0 win. Berrios tied his career high 11 strikeouts on April 12, 2018 in a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.

In the rotation this season, he has been tremendous outside of a few poor outings in April and early May that appear to be behind him. He ranks 12th in the AL in innings pitched, which would've seemed unthinkable not so long ago thanks to his tendency to rack up high pitch counts.

Newfound efficiency and control have enabled the right-hander, who turned 24 on Sunday, to pitch into the eighth inning four times in 11 starts, and into the seventh in two others. He has issued two or fewer walks in all but one of his turns. Berrios' 3.67 ERA remains in the good-not-great realm, thanks to that string of clunkers, but his recent performance feels more reflective of what we can expect going forward.

And then there is the amazing Fernando Romero, who doesn't turn 24 until December. 

Romero spent the entire 2017 season with the Lookouts. He was watched carefully and limited since he was recovering from Tommy John surgery that led to missing the entire 2015 season. The Twins added him to their 40-man roster after the 2016 season.

In 2017, with the Lookouts,  he compiled an 11-9 record and 3.53 ERA in 24 games (23 starts). He began 2018 with the Rochester Red Wings. On May 2, 2018, Romero was called up by the Twins.

He made his Major League debut as the starting pitcher against the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching 5.2 innings, with zero runs allowed, three walks, and five strikeouts, while earning his first Major League win.

Hailed as a potential ace as he came up through the minors, Romero has somehow been better than advertised during his initial run in the big leagues. The righty has been dominant through five starts, with a 1.88 ERA that ranks third among all American League pitchers with 20+ IP.

He's getting grounders at a 50%+ rate while also averaging more than a strikeout per inning – one of five AL starters to hit both marks. 

The Twins have two starters pitching at an elite level, which is obviously encouraging, but what's really exciting is that it's a duo of young, controllable former top prospects with stuff and pedigree to match. 

The emergence of Berrios and Romero as a one-two punch atop the rotation is legitimately the best development to come along for this unit in more than a decade. We in the Chattanooga area were fortunate to be able to watch these two young pitchers as they were developing while pitching at AT&T Field.

Fernando Romero spent the entire 2017 season with the Lookouts.
Fernando Romero spent the entire 2017 season with the Lookouts.
- photo by Tim Evearitt


Cleveland State Baseball Falls To Chattanooga State, 15-5

Lee University's De Adder Named GSC Freshman Of The Week

(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at PREP BASEBALL TUESDAY, APRIL 23 McMinn Co. at Walker Valley CCS at Grace Rhea ... (click for more)

Baseball suffered a 15-5 loss at Chattanooga State in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday. 2B Andrew Carpenter and 1B Marcial Hernandez batted back-to-back and had four of the Cougars’ ... (click for more)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Showcasing her versatility with production both at the plate and in the circle this weekend, Lee softball player Taylor De Adder has been named the Gulf South Conference Freshman ... (click for more)



(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at PREP BASEBALL TUESDAY, APRIL 23 McMinn Co. at Walker Valley CCS at Grace Rhea Co. at Lenoir City Ooltewah at Soddy Daisy Bradley at Cleveland Howard at East Ridge Hixson at Tyner Lookout Valley at South Pittsburg McCallie at East Hamilton Red Bank at Central ... (click for more)

Moc Golfers Third At SoCon Championships

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team ended up third at the Southern Conference Championships. The Mocs carded 292 over the final 18 holes to end with 875 over the three day. Will Porter ended the tournament with a 2-under 70 and the trio of Oliver Simonsen, Lake Johnson and Etienne Brault each posted 74. Connor Nolan had the drop score with 76. Simonsen tied for fourth ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Portion Of Interstate 75 Between Chattanooga and Cleveland To Get Extra Lanes

State officials said a portion of Interstate 75 between Chattanooga and Cleveland will be widened. The project will add one lane in each direction. It will take it from two lanes to three from north of U.S. 11/Lee Highway in Hamilton County to near Exit 20 in Bradley County. It was included in this year’s multimodal program to tentatively receive right-of-way funding in FY ... (click for more)

Proposed Changes To Short Term Vacation Rentals Get Hosts Fired Up, But No One Claims Revisions

Proposed changes to the city's Short Term Vacation Rentals program were set to go before the City Council next Tuesday, but that now appears to be off the table. Councilman Darrin Ledford said he had been set to discuss the topic brought forth by Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod at the planning and zoning committee Tuesday. However, administration officials said they had their ... (click for more)


How Can City, WWTA Get Away With Chronic Sewage Discharges Onto Our Streets?

A wastewater or service utility is simply a defined service in exchange for a fee. What if I pay a utility fee in exchange for a defined service, and the utility fails to deliver the service as agreed? As an example, I pay a private solid waste collection service to collect, transport, and dispose of garbage. Municipalities also operate waste collection and disposal. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Just Say ‘I Love You’

A dear friend sends me a note that his mom, after 40 glorious years of teaching children in public schools, is dying. The death of a mom or dad is among the worst things a child must bear, watching a parent in their final days. But I still marvel at the fact when Helen Exum died four years ago, not once did I cry and I’m a pretty emotional guy. The overwhelming reason I could ... (click for more)