Last week’s Dodger Fan Friday post was all about the players that you love to hate. Now, there’s news that former San Francisco Giants closer and set-up man Sergio Romo has narrowed his choice of teams down to two — the Dodgers, and a mystery team.
While he has won three World Series rings with the Giants, his career has been very much up-and-down. His fastball isn’t very fast, topping out about 90 mph. His slider, which averages about 80 mph, lets him play with the corners of the plate and he uses that to his advantage. He has a career 2.58 ERA over nine seasons, and would be entering the season at 33 years of age.
Last year for the Giants, Romo pitched 30-2/3 innings of relief. He had a 2.64 ERA, allowed nine runs, five home runs, and had a FIP of 3.80 with a WHIP of 1.076. Compare that to Joe Blantons‘s stats of 80 innings pitched, 2.48 ERA, 22 earned runs, 29 home runs, 3.33 FIP and 1.013 WHIP. Both are right handed pitchers.
Blanton is said to be looking for a multi-year deal, and the Dodgers seem unwilling to do that at this point. That could be the hold up as to why Blanton has not been re-signed as of yet. There hasn’t been an indication from Romo as to whether he is looking for more than one year, or if he’s willing to sign a contract for a single season.
To add to the rumor mill with relief men, the Dodgers are also reportedly looking at Jerry Blevins, who just finished two years with the New York Mets.
Dodgers fans may be apprehensive about a former Giant player joining their team. It has happened before of course, most recently with Juan Uribe. And everyone grew to love Juan, and most of us still miss him. And while doing research on Romo, I ran across this little nugget — he grew up a Dodgers fan. His grandfather was upset that the team he’d been drafted by was the San Francisco Giants. His beard would give Scott Van Slyke‘s and maybe Justin Tuner‘s a run for their money.
There is a little history between Yasiel Puig and Romo, most notably in 2013 when Romo got Puig on a slider, and then the next day Puig got the better of Romo and got on base for the go-ahead run. He exchanged words with both catcher Guillermo Quiroz and Romo when he crossed the plate. Puig downplayed it after the game.
In a highly scientific Twitter poll, two-thirds of fans are either fine or don’t have strong feelings about Romo joining the team:
In the end, it just boils down to whether he’s effective. For me, I don’t like the fact that he was a Giant, but in those years with the Giants, he obviously gained tons of experience in high pressure situations, and in the World Series. A scuffle with Puig doesn’t turn me off the way a scandal a la Ryan Braun does. One more veteran presence in the bullpen to bridge the gap to closer Kenley Jansen. If he’s here to help, sign me up.