Romulo Ignacio Sanchez Oviedo
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 240 lb.
A tall, hard-throwing right-hander, Romulo Sanchez was signed by scout Doug Carpenter for the Los Angeles Dodgers as an undrafted free agent and debuted with the 2002 DSL Dodgers East, going 1-4 with one save and a 4.44 ERA. With the same club a year later, the teenager had a 2-3, 4.46 record.
Released by LA, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He posted a 1.03 ERA in 43 innings for the 2004 San Joaquin (VSL) team in the Venezuelan Summer League. In '05, Sanchez split time between three levels. His records were 1-0, 1.80 for the GCL Pirates, 1-0, 3.60 for the Altoona Curve and 3-3, 4.70 with the Hickory Crawdads for a 5-3, 4.15 composite line. In 2006, Romulo was 0-3 with five saves and a 5.86 ERA between Altoona, Hickory (his main stop) and the Lynchburg Hillcats. Despite his fastball being clocked as fast as 97 mph, his strikeout totals had been unimpressive - 121 in 198 2/3 IP to that point. He was added to Pittsburgh's 40-man roster that winter.
Sanchez had a good 2007 with Altoona, going 6-3 with one save and a 2.81 ERA in 40 games. He struck out 52 in 57 2/3 IP and allowed a .204 average. He was called up to Pittsburgh in late August when Salomon Torres went on the Disabled List with an inflamed MCL in his right elbow.
Sanchez debuted in the majors in a 5-4 loss to the Astros. He came in with a 4-3 lead in the 7th, relieving Franquelis Osoria. He walked Chris Burke but then induced a double play from Hunter Pence. Damaso Marte relieved Sanchez at that point. Overall, he was 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in 16 outings for the Pirates.
He split 2008 between the Indianapolis Indians (5-1, 4 Sv, 3.46) and Pirates (4.05 ERA in 10 games). He began 2009 back with the Indians (1-0, 4.38, 15 K in 12 1/3 IP) then was dealt to the New York Yankees for Eric Hacker. Moving to a starting role for the first time in four years, he posted a 5-5, 4.04 record for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, striking out 64 in 64 2/3 innings. In 2010, Romulo was with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (10-8, 3.97) and New York (0 R, 1 H, 5 K in 4 1/3 IP). He tied for 9th in the 2010 International League in wins.
Sanchez signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles for 2011. He debuted on April 20 as the last pitcher in a 10-3 loss to the Chiba Lotte Marines. He allowed a hit and a walk and struck out one in a scoreless 9th inning.