Dodgers set-up man, Sergio Romo, has had a rough start to the 2017 season. Even so, there’s plenty of reason why we shouldn’t give up hope on him just yet.
Romo signed with the Dodgers in the 2016 offseason, after spending the first nine years of his career playing with the San Francisco Giants. Right off the bat, this signing had many fans frustrated and confused. Quickly, Romo became a fan favorite who grew up a diehard Dodger fan and was playing for his hometown team.
Through his first 14 games as a Dodger, his stats don’t look too impressive or worth keeping around. He has posted a 7.36 ERA while pitching 11 innings and surrendering eight base on balls, but striking out 11. Romo has given up nine earned runs this season already. In 2016 he gave up nine earned runs all season. However, the Dodgers seem to be using Romo more than the Giants did. He has already thrown 11 innings this season, while last year he threw 30.2 innings the entire season. After his first 14 games with the Giants last season he had a 4.63 ERA but finished the season with a 2.64 ERA.
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In Romo’s 14 appearances he has only given up runs in four of them. Unfortunately, two of these games left a dent on his ERA. In his last seven appearances, Romo has pitched 5.2 innings while striking out seven and walking two. During these seven appearances though he did surrender two runs to the Giants in San Francisco. These runs also came off of a home run, which is always hard to judge a pitcher on. Giving up a home run is just missing your location for one pitch, doesn’t mean he’s a bad pitcher.
Romo seems to be having an issue of adjusting to his new team and new environment. He spent the first nine years of his career with one team and a lot of the same faces for a majority of those years. The adjustment and time could be all Romo needs to see him back in his regular form. It has only been one month of the season so far. Since his outing in San Francisco, he’s shown improvement in his command and seems to be calming down. He’s had four appearances, and he’s given up zero runs while striking out four and only walking one.
Romo has the potential to be a very solid 8th inning man for the Dodgers. Having two strong right-handers coming in for the 8th and 9th inning would almost solidify a Dodgers win every time. Sure he has started off slow, but a few of the players on the Dodgers have, and it’s, unfortunately, part of the process. That’s why the seasons are 162 games.
If Romo can get comfortable playing for his new team, I have no doubt he can be the pitcher the Dodgers needed and wanted him to be. Romo has only ever finished two seasons with an ERA above 3.00, and they were in 2009 and 2014. The Dodgers picked up a solid relief pitcher and once he finds his rhythm no one will care what team he came from beforehand.