The Reds placed RHP Scott Feldman, their most experienced starter on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee.
Feldman has been slowed by the knee his last two starts and on Monday, he could only last one inning.
Jesse Winker was optioned to Louisville, giving the Reds a four-man bench.
Romano, who won his first Major League in his last start before the break in Colorado,.pitched five innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked just one and struck out six.
“It starts with competing in the strike zone,” Bryan Price said. “Every time we have a conversation about a young pitcher, it really does boil down to throwing the ball over the plate and keeping yourself in good counts. They need to allow themselves to mature through the process. If you’re having to coax guys into throwing the ball over the plate or if they’re not ready to throw the ball over the plate then that’s the thing we need to work on.”
The Reds have had that conversation often.
Romano is one of seven rookies to start a game for the Reds this year. Six more rookies have toed the slab for the Reds.
The Reds are rebuilding but are also trying to win as many games they can. They signed Feldman to give the rotation some stability. The Reds planned to have a rotation of Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Feldman and ease in one of its youthful pitchers which was Amir Garrett. Bailey and DeSclafani didn’t start the season and Finnegan went down after four starts. Feldman lasted 19 starts before the knee flared up.
“If you’re going to build a team, you build it through the starting rotation,” Price said. “First of all you have to stay healthy. Then you have to define who you’re going with. Who will be the foundation. That’s been a hard process for us. As process when we started to transition from that group we had in 2012 and 13 (Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo and Bailey). In 2017 we got Homer back but we’ve had a hard time replacing what we’ve lost.”
The seven rookies (Romano, Luis Castillo, Garrett, Rookie Davis, Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson. Bonilla) and young veterans like Tim Adleman and Asher Wojciechowski form the pool that the Reds need to shift through to find a cohesive rotation.
“We will continue to give young pitchers a chance to learn up here and mature up here,” Price said. “We have those building blocks. These last 10 weeks are really important because we have to have a vision of what our starting rotation is going to look like in 2018.”