Romero happy to be Phillies' working man

Romero happy to be Phillies' working man

LOS ANGELES -- Phillies left-hander J.C. Romero said he feels most comfortable when he is working.

Perhaps that work is paying off. Romero is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in seven appearances in the team's last 12 games. In six innings, he has allowed four hits and one run with five strikeouts and zero walks.

In his previous four appearances, he carried a 45.00 ERA. In one inning -- in two of those four appearances he did not record an out -- he allowed four hits, seven runs, five earned runs, three walks, two home runs and hit a batter. He struck out two.

"This year was a different year," he said, explaining his earlier struggles. "I didn't know how to approach it."

Romero had offseason surgery on his left elbow, which forced him to miss the beginning of the season. He said everybody wanted to be careful because they did not want to overuse him. It appears those concerns are over.

"I'm healthy," he said. "I guess we're going to go back to using me the same way I was used before, being pretty much ready to go every day."

Romero pitched in 20 of the final 27 games of the 2007 season. He had a 0.00 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .082 against him.

"My arm felt fine then," he said. "You want to win the division. I remember every time they asked how my arm felt, I said I could rest at Christmas."

He said he is ready to be used like that again.

"I think I can," he said. "I've started feeling more aggressive. I'm just trying to play catch with the mitt. I'm not trying to overthrow."