WASHINGTON – Two pitchers with diverse backgrounds have one thing in common: they have both been promoted to Triple-A Rochester in the Washington farm system.
Cade Cavalli, a right-hander from Oklahoma, and lefty Seth Romero of Texas were promoted by the Nationals from Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday.
Brad Holman got a chance to see both pitch in person last week in Akron as the Senators faced one of Cleveland’s farm teams.
Holman is normally the pitching coordinator in player development for the Nationals, but he has been filling in at Harrisburg while Sam Narron, the pitching coach to start the year with the Senators, is with the Major League club. Holman was with Harrisburg on Tuesday as the Senators began a home series with Hartford.
Cavalli made 11 starts with Harrisburg after he began the season with Wilmington, where he made seven starts. The first-round draft pick had 151 strikeouts in 98.2 innings between the two stops.
“He is a special character,” Holman told Federal Baseball of Cavalli. “He, obviously, has electric stuff. He is a superb talent of wealth.”
Holman said Cavalli struggled with his command in his last start with Harrisburg and had a split of about 50-50 for a strike ratio with his secondary pitches.
“That is something he is working on. With that type of arm, sometimes the command is not as easy to come,” Holman said. “It is kind of a delicate balance. You don’t want to sacrifice command for stuff. He has really good stuff. He is doing great at making adjustments. Those adjustments are coming quicker and quicker.”
Romero had off-the-field problems in college and has dealt with injuries since he turned pro.
He saw action in three games out of the bullpen last year with the Nationals but is now back to being used as a starter in the minors.
The lefty went five innings in his last start for Harrisburg on Saturday, allowing eight hits and two runs at Akron.
“He is being stretched back out,” Holman said. “He has a really good changeup and a really good breaking ball. He has a tendency early in the count to throw those as swing-and-miss type pitches. The goal is to minimize the pitch count a little bit more; he did that. Some balls found holes; but he was still very good.”