Orlando Román Bruno
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 210 lb.
Román was taken by the New York Mets in the 31st round of the 1999 amateur draft out of college. He exploded onto the pro scene, going 6-0 with a 2.36 ERA for the GCL Mets that year. He allowed only 41 hits in 61 innings while fanning 64. He finished 6th in the Gulf Coast League in ERA, right after Seung Song, and second in strikeouts behind Dave Martinez.
Orlando fell apart in 2000, going 3-5 with a 6.15 ERA for the Pittsfield Mets. He went 3-3 between three stops in 2001. In 2002, he rebounded, going 1-5 with 12 saves and a 2.77 ERA for the Capital City Bombers and whiffing 100 in 78 innings, having now made the conversion to relief.
Román went 3-5 with a save and a 3.94 ERA in 28 games for the 2003 St. Lucie Mets and 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 7 games for Capital City. In 2004, he averaged nearly a strikeout an inning between St. Lucie (4-5, 3.71) and the Binghamton Mets (2-2, 4.35). In the winter of 2004-2005, he went 3-2 with a 2.81 ERA for Caguas of the Puerto Rican League.
In the summer of 2005, Orlando went 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA for Binghamton despite 136 strikeouts in 120 innings. He was only 8 strikeouts behind Yusmeiro Petit for the lead among Mets farmhands. He joined the Puerto Rican national team for the 2005 Baseball World Cup and went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA to lead their staff. His second win came against future big leaguer Devern Hansack. He tied for 4th in wins and was 4th in ERA between two South Koreans and Miguel Gómez.
In the winter of 2005-2006, he was 5-2 with a 3.14 ERA for Caguas. He was back with Puerto Rico for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He pitched one game, relieving Willie Collazo with a 3-3 score against the Dutch national team in the bottom of the 5th and promptly retiring Sharnol Adriana on a fly to end the inning. Puerto Rico scored twice in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, Orlando walked Dirk van 't Klooster, retired Sidney de Jong on a fly and walked Raily Legito before Pedro Feliciano relieved him. As Puerto Rico held on to win, Román got the win.
Román split 2006 between Binghamton (4-2, Sv, 3.79) and the Norfolk Tides (0-1, Sv, 4.05). In the COPABE qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics, the right-hander was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA for Puerto Rico, which failed to advance. He had a fine winter, though, going 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA for Caguas. He was 4th in the Puerto Rican League in ERA between Bruce Chen, Bill Pulsipher and Jonathan Albaladejo.
Not signed by the Mets, Román went to Mexico, opening 2007 with the Puebla Parrots and did very well. He went 5-1 with 12 saves and a 1.48 ERA, earning him a return trip to the States with the Bowie Baysox (1-1, 4.24 in 7 late-season games).
Román began 2008 back with Puebla and went 1-1 with 16 saves and a 2.21 ERA in the regular season. He again got a late-season ticket to the USA, signing with the Toronto Blue Jays but struggling with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (1-1, 2 Sv, 7.31 in 21 games). Orlando joined Puerto Rico for the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup and tossed a no-hitter (walking one) against the Aruban national team. He finished the event 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts and one walk in 13 innings to help Puerto Rico win the event. He tied for the lead in wins, was 9th in ERA and tied for third in strikeouts. He was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in the 2009 Caribbean Series, losing his start against the Tigres de Aragua.
In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he again pitched one game, again facing the Netherlands. Relieving Jonathan Sanchez in the 5th with a 3-0 lead, he allowed a single to Sidney de Jong but recovered to retire Curt Smith, Dirk van 't Klooster and Michael Duursma (the last two by strikeout). He was in turn replaced by Javier Lopez in a 5-0 win. In the regular season, he was Puebla's closer again, going 3-5 with 21 saves and a 3.29 ERA. He whiffed 78 in 68 1/3 innings but walked 44. He was 8th in the Mexican League in saves.
He finished the busy year with the Puerto Rican national team again, this time in the 2009 Baseball World Cup. He was 1-1 with two saves. He got the save in a 5-4 win over Great Britain in a near-upset and in a 5-3 win over Venezuela. Against Team Canada, he was the losing hurler, entering in the 8th inning of a scoreless game. He struck out the side that inning but allowed a Brett Lawrie homer to lead off the 9th. He got the win against Australia that sent Puerto Rico to the Bronze Medal game, replacing Alex Woodson with a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third and blanking the Aussies for the next 5 1/3 innings on only one hit. Overall, he struck out 26 in 16 1/3 innings for the tournament with a 1.62 ERA, leading his team in Ks. He did not pitch in the Bronze Medal game, which Puerto Rico won against Canada. For the event, he tied Miguel Alfredo González for third in whiffs, behind Norge Luis Vera and David Welch.
Román struck out 42 for the 2009-2010 Criollos de Caguas, leading the Puerto Rican League. He then tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and allowed only one hit for the Indios de Mayagüez in the 2010 Caribbean Series. He got the win over the Leones del Escogido, who won the Series. That summer, he pitched for Taiwan's Brother Elephants. He went 12-7 with a 3.07 ERA. He finished second in the 2010 CPBL in wins (two behind Carlos Castillo), led in innings (192) and led in strikeouts (142). He also was 8th in ERA, second in walks (88) and first with 16 wild pitches. In the 2010 Taiwan Series, he saved a game one win over the Sinon Bulls. With two on and two out in the 8th, he relieved Jim Magrane to face 2009 CPBL MVP Yi-Chuan Lin. Román retired him on a fly. He then returned in game 3 to toss a 3-hit shutout of Sinon. The Elephants won in a four-game sweep; the Taiwan Series MVP went to teammate and fellow import Magrane. In the 2011 Caribbean Series, he allowed one run in 5 2/3 IP though he did walk four.
With the Elephants the next year, the veteran went 16-6 with a 3.36 ERA (on a .500 club). He whiffed 161 in 203 2/3 innings. He led the 2011 CPBL in victories (3 more than runner-up Ken Ray), was third in ERA (behind Ray and Tyler Lumsden), led again in strikeouts (11 ahead of Ray), led again in wild pitches (14), led in innings and was second in walks (69, 4 fewer than Cheng-Lung Lo). He won the Gold Glove at pitcher and was named to the Best Ten as the top hurler in the Chinese Professional Baseball League that year. He was the second Puerto Rico-born pitcher to take that honor, following John Burgos by 10 years.
- 2000-2008 Baseball Almanacs
- SABR Minor League Database
- World Baseball Classic
- 2008 Americas Baseball Cup
- Play-by-play for the 2006 Netherlands-Puerto Rico Game at the World Baseball Classic
- Play-by-play for the 2009 Netherlands-Puerto Rico Game at the World Baseball Classic
- Caribbean Series
- Taiwan Baseball Wiki