Felix Manuel Romero Aquino
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 215 lb.
Felix Romero has pitched as high as AAA (2 full seasons and parts of two others through 2011).
Romero began his career with the DSL Blue Jays in 1998, going 6-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He fell to 1-6, 5.65 with 14 wild pitches and 33 walks in 43 innings for the same club in 1999. In 2000, he improved to 8-2, 1.29 with only 45 hits and 15 walks in 76 2/3 IP for the DSL Jays; his improved control resulting in just a single wild pitch. He came stateside with the 2001 Auburn Doubledays, going 2-2 with 12 saves and a 4.85 ERA. He tied Kevin Barry and Chris Russ for third in the New York-Penn League in saves.
Felix then spent three seasons with the Charleston AlleyCats. In 2002, he was 0-7 with 10 saves and a 3.98 ERA. He had the most losses of any winless South Atlantic League hurler that campaign. In his first return engagement, he improved to 2-3, 3.98 with 77 strikeouts in 69 1/3 IP. During 2004, he was very good with the AlleyCats (9-4, 3 Sv, 2.96, 102 K in 73 IP) and Dunedin Blue Jays (Sv, 1.89, 20 K in 14 1/3 IP). Despite pitching solely in relief, he tied Chris Baker for 10th in the Jays chain in whiffs.
Moving to the Boston Red Sox system as a minor league free agent, Romero went 5-7 with a save and a 2.93 ERA for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, striking out 87 and walking 11 in 73 2/3 innings. He was third on his club in Ks behind Jose Vaquedano and Anibal Sanchez. He made his first stint in Italy in 2006, going 4-4 with a save and a 2.21 ERA for Godo. He struck out 56 and walked 11 in 57 innings. He was 8th in Serie A1 in ERA.
Romero returned to the US, signing with the Baltimore Orioles for 2007. He was 2-7 with a 4.13 ERA for the Bowie Baysox but struck out 96 in 80 2/3 innings. He split 2008 between Bowie (8-3, Sv, 3.39, 100 K, 19 BB in 77 IP) and the AAA Norfolk Tides (2 ER, 6 BB in 8 1/3 IP). Romero then signed with the San Francisco Giants as a minor league free agent and spent 3 years in their chain. In 2009, he was 5-5 with four saves and a 4.28 ERA in 50 outings for the Fresno Grizzlies, walking only 16 in 73 2/3 IP. He was second on the club in appearances, two behind Geno Espineli.
For 2010, the veteran right-hander played briefly with Fresno (7 R in 9 2/3 IP) but spent most of the year with the Richmond Flying Squirrels (5-3, 3.34, 20 BB in 99 2/3 innings) and pitched regularly as a starter for the first time in 10 years and the first time in the US. Back up with Fresno in 2011, he struggled at 0-4, 6.34 with a save, 31 walks in 61 innings and a .327 opponent average.
Through 2011, Romero was 53-53 with 33 saves in 434 minor league games (47 starts). He had allowed 826 hits in 872 innings with 286 walks and had struck out 886. His ERA was 3.68.
Romero returned to Italy fairly late in the 2012 season, joining Unipol Bologna. In the 2012 European Cup's San Marino phase, he was 0-1 with 3 runs, 8 hits and one walk in 4 2/3 IP over two relief appearances. He took Bologna's only first-round loss, against Draci Brno. Relieving Matteo D'Angelo in the 8th, he allowed a double to Tomáš Polanský, a single to Arnošt Dubový and a RBI grounder to Přemek Chroust. In the 9th, he walked Michal Ondráček, gave up a Martin Schneider single and then a double to Alex Derhak to hand Bologna the upset loss.