Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays prospect Romero's return to Futures Game is steppingstone

NEW YORK — LHP Enny Romero said being selected for the All-Star Futures Game last year was a nice reward. But getting picked to come back Sunday was even better.

"This time I was surprised," Romero said. "My agent called me and said, 'I'll see you in two weeks in New York.' I called my wife and she was excited, and I called my mom and she was crying."

Romero has had a solid season thus far at Double-A Montgomery, going 8-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 19 starts, and he could be a candidate to move up to Triple-A Durham later this season.

"I'm going to keep working hard to get to the major leagues," Romero said. "That is my goal: to play with (Fernando) Rodney and (Joel) Peralta."

Pitching for the World team Sunday, Romero struck out C.J. Cron (Angels) on three pitches and got Matt Davidson (Diamondbacks) to fly out on a 97-mph fastball in the second inning. But then Romero allowed a single to Joc Pederson (Dodgers) and an RBI double to Christian Yelich (Marlins) as the United States won 4-2.

MORE RAYS: Triple-A manager Charlie Montoyo (for the fourth year) and pitching coach Neil Allen were members of the World coaching staff. … Cardinals prospect Kolten Wong said younger brother, Kean, was a good fourth-round draft pick by the Rays. "He's a big kid, he's going to be good for (those) guys," Wong said.

BIG STARS: Rays INF/OF Ben Zobrist and LHP Matt Moore both planned to fly from Tampa to New York on Sunday night and then get immersed today in the activities leading up to Tuesday's All-Star Game. They will attend a media session this afternoon, take part in the AL workout and then watch the home run derby.

Rays LHP David Price, a three-time All-Star, provided Moore, 24, with tips on how to handle the week. "The main point is to have fun," Price said in St. Petersburg. "This is his first experience doing something like this and it can be heavy at times. It can be. Being on the East Coast will be a lot better for him; being on the West Coast you have to start everything earlier."

Staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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