JoJo Romero saw most of his 2021 season go down in flames when he wound up on the IL with an elbow injury and ultimately needed Tommy John surgery to fix the issue. After a long time away from the mount, Romero officially started his way back on June 14 when he made his first rehab assignment appearance in the Florida Complex League. From there, he moved to Double-A Reading and made his first relief appearance with the Fightins last Wednesday. The plan appears to be for JoJo Romero to stay with Reading through the weekend before heading up Route 222 to join the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Romero threw perfect innings in his rehab outing in the FCL and in his first appearance with Clearwater. He gave up a run on three hits and a walk in his next outing and finished the Clearwater part of his minor league tour with two more shutout innings with the Threshers. In his first rehab appearance with Reading, there was good news and bad news. Romero made it through two innings for the first time in his rehab and threw a rehab-high 29 pitches to record a save. On the down side, he allowed four hits and hit a batter to allow one earned run.

Overall, the numbers are good and the reports are solid on how Romero is throwing. In his six appearances, Romero had pitched seven innings and has a 1.43 WHIP (eight hits and two walks) to go with 11 strikeouts to go with a 2.57 ERA. Romero has reported that he feels good and that his arm is feeling stronger with each outing.

The left-hander is anxious to get into the Phillies bullpen but the Phillies will likely use up most of the allotted 30 days of his rehab to let him work back into the routine of pitching out of the bullpen after having been a starter throughout his entire minor league career. When the Lehigh Valley IronPigs return home from Syracuse on Monday, Romero may be joining them for their series against Rochester.

Still just 25, Romero could eventually provide the Phillies with another left-handed option out of the bullpen and they are hopeful to get him to the point where they can use him for more than just one inning at a time.