This is Romano’s first time receiving the honor and Hader’s fourth time, which is second most for any reliever since the award was established in 2017.
Romano saved 10 of the Blue Jays’ 14 victories in April and recorded a 1.59 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. Opposing batters mustered a scant .195 average with a .525 OPS versus the hard-throwing righty and struck out 13 times.
Since May 11, 2021, when he nailed down his first save of that season, Romano has registered a 1.89 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 4-to-1. He has also secured 34 of his 35 save opportunities during that span.
The 28-year-old Hader has continued to perform like arguably the best closer in baseball so far, throwing 9 1/3 innings with only two hits allowed and 15 strikeouts. Hader has yet to allow a run this season, thereby extending his MLB-best scoreless-innings streak of 29 2/3 into May.
Batters are hitting .067 versus Hader, and his expected batting average (.141) ranks sixth best in the Majors among pitchers with at least 15 batted balls.
For his career, the three-time All-Star has struck out 497 batters in 291 2/3 innings. Barring something unforeseen, Hader will soon become the second-fastest pitcher in AL/NL history to reach the 500-K plateau by innings, trailing only Aroldis Chapman (292 innings pitched).