The Los Angeles Angels endured a flurry of injuries over the course of the 2022 regular season, especially at the catcher position. Veteran backstop Austin Romine joined the team for a few games but triggered an opt-out in the Minor League deal he signed with the team prior to the season.
Romine, 34, owns a career .230/.268/.348 slash in 485 career games in Major League Baseball. The Angels became his fourth club as a Big Leaguer after he joined L.A. just days before the start of the season.
He made his season debut for the club on May 11 against the Tampa Bay Rays, notching his first hit with the team. Romine would go on to start two more games as an Angel, but after activating Kurt Suzuki from the 10-day injured list on May 21, they optioned him to Triple-A.
The duo of Suzuki and Max Stassi spelled the end of Romine’s time with the Angels.
Romine decided to act on the third opt-out in his contract and decided to hit the open market. The St. Louis Cardinals took a shot on him, making his first appearance on July 4. They would go on to trade him to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations.
Austin Romine 2022 highlight
On August 30 against the Cardinals, Romine launched a two-run home run that gave the Reds a 2-to-1 lead. They would go on to win the game by a score of 5-1, with his homer playing a key role.
The bulk of his season came with the Reds, appearing in 37 games and posting a .436 on-base plus slugging. In early December, they announced he would return to the Reds on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Romine isn’t known for his bat, grading out in the 59th percentile in max exit velocity, and his framing & ability to throw out base runners are among the worst in MLB. The long-term outlook for him is a pure backup catcher who can spot-start if need be, but his ceiling is low.
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