Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: What will RHP Sergio Romo bring to the bullpen?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Rawlings gloves are seen on the field during batting practice ahead of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 27, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Rawlings gloves are seen on the field during batting practice ahead of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 27, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
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As we approach the mid-point of the Blue Jays’ baseball season, it is safe to say that there are a ton of questions lurking regarding the current roster, and the ever-so-struggling pitching scenario.  On the 27th of June, the Toronto Blue Jays added some experience, innings, and good off-speed to their bullpen, by signing veteran relief pitcher, Sergio Romo, after being released by the Seattle Mariners last week (as per Jon Heyman via Twitter).

With arms such as Taylor Saucedo, Julian Merryweather, Trevor Richards, Yimi Garcia, and Andrew Vasquez all down on injury, the Blue Jays bullpen is screaming for help. While assistance by Matt Gage and Max Castillo in the pen is helpful, there is a lack of available innings and quality relief outings. Although Romo’s 2022 charts don’t look “quality” as a Mariner, his experience, flexibility, and repertoire may be beneficial to a hurting Blue Jays relief staff.

Sergio Romo’s short stint in Seattle ended with an 8.16 ERA, appearing in 14.1 innings, giving up 13 runs, 18 hits, and six home runs. Not a very promising line, however, he only walked four batters while striking out 11.

Off the bat, you’re probably wondering why this move was made while reflecting on these numbers. The fact of the matter is, this is not enough to say yes, nor not enough to say no, with the state of the Blue Jays’ pitching scenario.  Romo is a veteran with a good IQ on the mound; he may get beat in at-bats, but he doesn’t beat himself. This is not a guy that will give up free bases, but this is a guy with a unique repertoire that isn’t the exact “major league standard” in today’s day in age.

What does Romo offer the Blue Jays pitching staff?

Obviously, this isn’t going to be the San Francisco Sergio Romo that we all knew, however, this guy can be effective in certain circumstances. There are only 2-ways things can go for the 39-year-old sling-shot reliever; shut down or taken out.

Romo’s fastball tops 85mph in a league that averages 94-96mph average fastball. Many wonder why he’s still here? His very disgusting off-speed options and their effective use is your answer. Romo has a slick-moving slider, ranging between 76-78mph, and a good changeup between 79-80mph. The slider has a sharp break from right to left, typically working both sides out of the zone; this is his out pitch, which is highly relied on. The changeup works low, with the bottom falling off, in a good downward dip. Romo has incorporated a more useful sinker sitting mid-70s with a good downward break. This year, he has a 24.5% hard-hit average, with a 16.9% strikeout average, and only a 6.2% walk average.

Romo will fair well if he continues to work his off-speed around the zone, using the far outside parts of the plate, and low below the knees. His fastball has good run on it and can be used for a mid-count strike. As long as he can command his stuff off of the plate, he won’t get hurt. Keep in mind, that Yankees hitters with good reach can penalize pitches off of the plate, strike or not. If Romo misses spots, that ERA will go up even faster.

Next. Jays rotation lined up well vs. Red Sox, but then what?. dark

The Blue Jays are receiving a veteran arm with a ton of experience, and a lot of competitive energy as an athlete; I think this can help the bullpen for the time being.

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