A Dodgers Fan Who Pitched for the Enemy – Sergio Romo Now a Dodger

The Dodgers have done it, they’ve added another ex-hated one to the Blue. Ken Rosenthal from the L.A. Times has reported the Dodgers and Sergio Romo have agreed to terms: one year and $3 million.

The 33-year-old put up a respectable 2.64 ERA in 2016, but he spent nearly half of the season on the disabled list. Before that injury-plagued season Romo was a reliable arm out of the pen. It remains to be seen how this season will pan out for the ex-Giant.

Sergio Romo was born into a family of Dodger fans. When he was a kid, he attended his first Dodgers game, Raul Mondesi slammed a home run, and Romo was hooked. He grew up to be a pitcher good enough for the majors, but as the Dodgers-Giants rivalry’s fate would have it, he was signed by the enemy.

When he invited his family to come see him pitch up in the bay, they made it known where their loyalties lay:

In his rookie season, he left tickets for them, and the whole group showed up in Dodgers gear. Romo was chatting with his blue-clad family outside the clubhouse after a game when manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean walked past, shaking their heads. Bochy gave Romo a piece of advice: “Let ’em know if they wear the other team’s colors, it’ll be the last ticket you’ll get from me.” – Andrew Baggarly, Mercury News

Sergio Romo now joins a long list of Giants-turned-Dodgers which stretches from Sal “The Barber” Maglie to Juan Marichal, Jeff Kent and Brian Wilson.

Folks on Twitter have been lamenting Romo joining the Dodgers, and most of it seems to be the natural reaction to having a former Giant join the team. The Brian Wilson signing didn’t pan out too well, and Romo spent lots of time on the DL last year, so I understand the sentiment.

However, I remember Jeff Kent earning my respect when he donned Dodger blue. Kent played his butt off on both sides of the plate, and he homered in the 4-back to back home runs game to beat the Padres. It was the greatest Dodgers game I ever attended. I for one, welcome Romo to the fold, and I wish him well.

Sergio Romo is expected to be the Dodgers’ new setup man. The former Giant who once pitched from the land of the Golden Gate bridge will now be the Dodger Blue bridge to Kenley Jansen

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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69 thoughts on “A Dodgers Fan Who Pitched for the Enemy – Sergio Romo Now a Dodger

  1. McCullough surmises (just surmises) the bullpen to possibly (did I mention it’s a surmising?) be:

    1. Jansen
    2. Romo
    3. Big Pete
    4. Dayton
    5. Ravin
    6. Fields
    7. Avilan
    8. Wood?

    With Morrow or Liberatore fighting for a role.

    Heyman reports $3M plus incentives. he took significantly less to do LA deal.

      1. “Way too deep”?

        They can’t go 6. So it’s going to be 7 or 8, but I agree, the roster is going to be both deep and tight. Deep on the 40 in terms of talent, but tight on the gameday roster.

        Back to topic at hand, I don’t see any way they go shorter than 8. I’m hearing (from podcast) that Urias could begin in extended spring training (due to innings limitation.) And we should expect some injuries, but I think Roberts likes a deep ‘pen and it sure looks like the Front Office is accommodating that.

        1. 8 if they carry 4 starters to begin the season, but 8 and 5 starters means 13 pitchers on the roster and that gives you only 4 guys on the bench. Not smart in the NL. Urias in extended spring to keep his innings in check, well that s cool. But no way they carry 8 relief pitchers when the schedule tightens up.

          1. I agree. I think they go with seven relievers. Dustin Nosler has:

            Avilan
            Baez
            Dayton
            Hatcher
            Jansen
            Romo
            Wood

            I think he’s right although Baez has 2 options left, and I’m hoping Morrow has a great ST and replaces him.

      1. Hopefully Hatcher is designated for assignment or given his outright release. He’s been horrendous since day one. More than likely One or more of the walking wounded starters will be released before opening day. The rotation figures to be Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias (provided they don’t place him in extended spring training which would be dumb), and fifth starter could be Alex Wood, McCarthy, Kazmir, or Hyun-jin Ryu. I would like to see Wood get the nod as he has the most talent and is more reliable than McCarthy, Kazmir, Ryu.

        1. I think putting Urias in extended spring is not only not dumb, but the right thing to do. For most of April you do not need that #5 starter. I think you carry Wood as the long man and spot starter. Urias can take over the #4 role come May. You find out if Kazmir or who ever can do anything and see if they have trade value and you do not over use a 20 year old arm. McCarthy and Hatcher I just out right release and eat the money.

  2. The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

    Oh well…wouldn’t surprise me if he gets traded inJuly, goes on the DL, or is left off the playoff roster.

    Cool anecdote that his family never changed allegiance.

  3. So I guess Blanton is out. Really liked him, thought he pitched well.
    I know he’s 36, but still hope they add him. I would have more confidence
    with him than some of these other guys.

    1. I’m plenty happy to not have Blanton back again. He did better than I expected during the regular season last year and I give him credit for that… but the playoffs – not so much. Wish him the best, glad he is likely to be moving on.

  4. 1 year at 3 million seems a good deal. Blanton may be holding out on a 2 year deal as this is likely his last contract, maybe.

    1. They are going with a new pen and trying to go younger. Grant Brisbee has a nice farewell article up about Romo leaving. He’s bummed, but for sentimental reasons, not because Romo is (still) any good.

      But the contract is nice and having someone like him around will be a good thing, especially if he hits it off with A-Gon, and I imagine he will. Seriously I have a ton of Mexican friends growing up and every one of them and their relatives are die hard Dodgers fans. And their in-laws (that is amazing I don’t know how they do it – my in-laws will cheer any random team just to spite me ….).

      1. YF

        And I guess his grand father,
        is a big Fernando guy.

        I had tons of Hispanic friends, when I grew up too

        And in fact I still have those same friends, in my life now.

        That is why I was so upset, about some of the remarks I read on here, when we talked about politics, recently.

        1. My late father was a Fernando guy as well, and we’re Taiwanese. I never like Fernando actually, I was a lot more into the team as a while because I listened to practically every game on the radio. Funny how baseball works.

          1. YF

            I was at the first game that Fernando came into, to pitch.

            And before the game, during batting practice, I saw Fernando on the field, and I thought he must be a bat boy, because of his girth, and I guess his age.

            I was young too, so he didn’t look as young, as he was.

            I remember he pitched the last three innings of the game, and that was when Vinny started saying olay, after every strike out.

  5. Is low as this deal was, maybe Blanton, will come back.

    I don’t think he will get a multi year contract, the way that teams are holding out, for the best deals.

    1. Yes, I was thinking (and hoping) the same. I feel better with both Romo and Blanton around. I really think that we don’t want power arms before we get to Jansen. Baez should be the sixth inning guy (sixth inning! Badger and Dodgerrick are going to have aneurysms).

      1. Scott, I downloaded Firefox as a secondary browser so I can get on here now. Internet Explorer still tells me it is not a valid net address……

    2. I don’t see the need nor space for Blanton. There’s a ton of bullpen arms.

      Frankly, I’m having trouble seeing how the gameday roster comes together right now.

      There’s talk of Chris Carter to pseudo-platoon with Gonzalez at first.

      1. Yes Bluto ST is shaping up to be a lot of players but very few position battles. But that’s what gets the FAZ going, all the little moves and tweaks. I think everyone feels like, with our kids maturing, we are getting closer and closer to the promised land.

      2. Bluto

        He would take up to much space on the roster, and he is way to inflexible.

        I feel Scott is a much better over all hitter, especially only playing part time, unlike Carter, who played full time last year.

  6. Payroll is pushing $227mm, obviously over the tax threshold, despite a certain fustian blogger’s claim it would be under that threshold by now. Even though they could afford it, I don’t see Chris Carter as a fit. AGon will not take that many days off to afford what Carter would demand. We already have a plethora of outfielders so we don’t need him in left field either. As for Blanton, if he and Romo split the time both might could be fresh enough for October. The key to those guys finishing the year effectively is to limit innings. That could be accomplished by carrying the extra arm in the pen. You know this team has done nothing to change finishing at the bottom in innings pitched by starting pitchers. We have a staff that consists of Clayton Kershaw and the 5 Inning Band. Yes, Rich Hill might average 6, but won’t start more than 24. Maeda might average 5.2, but he won’t start more than 26. The guys that replace them for whatever games they miss won’t go 6 and the rest of the band members won’t have more than a handful of quality starts. Our pen is again going to be decisive. To go all the way to November might take 680 innings out of the bullpen. Stack it now.

    MJ, I read the new Dodger Therapy when it went up on the 27th. Though I’m not as down on management as he is, I do appreciate where he is coming from. I think the Dodgers were stocked with a lot of talent when FAZ got here – on the ML roster and in the minor league system. I’ve seen very little they’ve done actually improve our league standing but they haven’t moved the best of our prospects – yet. The De Leon trade might cause me to recant that statement, but I get why they did it. I wouldn’t have done it. Nor would I have traded 3 top prospects for a guy on the DL and an unecessary LH hitting outfielder. But, that is over/under the dam bridge at this point.

    Anybody see Cubans on the ’17 horizon? Can’t say I do.

  7. Badger, I think we have a real chance this year. The Cubs lost Chapman and I don’t think they’ve gotten better. I don’t think Kryant or Rizzo or Javier Baez will take another leap. For us, we are getting stronger. I don’t see A Gon getting that much worse and I think some of our young players will take a leap this year (Joc, Seager and Toles). If a couple of our young relievers take a step forward we are there. By this I mean Dayton, Stripling and Wood (lest we forget, Wood is still fairly young – younger than Ravin I think).

    1. I was thinking about Romo versus Blanton, and Romo and Blanton, both don’t have a great fastballs, but I think Blanton uses his fastball, more effectively then Romo does.

      And I think Romo probably has a better over all slider, or he wouldn’t be that effective, because like I said, he doesn’t use his fastball, as well, as Blanton does.

      Blanton will throw a high fastball, just out of the strike zone, when a hitter, is expecting his slider.

      I think Maeda is also going to have to attack more with his fastball inside, to keep hitters honest, but since he doesn’t have a good fastball, he is going to have to be precise, where he puts it.

      I think the key with our starting rotation, is how well our young pitchers, have came around, since last year.

      I don’t believe we can depend on McCarthy, or Kazmir.

      I still think Kazmir’s control, depends to much on the chronic disorder, that he has.

      If he isn’t feeling bad that day, he may pitch with better control, but if his back, and other areas, is bothering him, I don’t see him, getting through to the fifth inning.

      He puts way to many people on base, especially at the top of the order.

      Kazmir hasn’t pitched well since the first half of the 2015 season, and he tends to have better first halfs in his career, and he didn’t have a good first half, as a Dodger.

      And I think the last time McCarthy pitched well, in the last couple years, was in the second half, of 2014 season.

      1. Reasonable analysis MJ. I don’t expect any more out of those older oft injured starters. Maybe they will surprise, and if so, terrific. But plan B should be ready to go.

        All I saw at DT site was one response from Snider and that was spot on. I don’t know what is being said anywhere else but it wouldn’t be difficult to speculate. There are many FAZ supporters out there.

  8. Well I can no longer get on this site on my PC, so I have to use my laptop to say hi to y’all! I did not like Romo as a Giant, but he is in blue now, so I have to wish him a lot of success. As for Blanton, the guy did a great job for us and melted down in the playoffs. But he is not the only guy that has happened to. I remember CK getting pummeled by the Cardinals in a game not all that long ago. It happens. Difference is Blanton is 39. I do not give him a 2 year deal. I doubt anyone else will either. I was surprised to read in DodgerBlue that they were interested in Chris Carter. Guy hits a ton of homers, but strikes out more than Rob Deer.

    1. Michael

      I wondered why we haven’t heard from you, in a while.

      I didn’t realize that Blanton was that old, so Romo, is actually quite a bit younger.

      I thought I saw one of your comments at another site, so I did wonder where you were, so welcome back!

    1. No, MJ, I just can’t convince myself it makes any sense at all to post about the Dodgers when management never listens. Pointless. Guess I’m just not as good a Dodger fan as the rest of you. We are what we are…

        1. Remember, I told you Mark Timmons was of more value to this blog than I was, I wasn’t kidding.
          You know, you carry this blog on your back. You must make 20% of the total comments here. Without your comments, this place would shut the doors…
          Which brings up another thought, Scott and Oscar… There is another plugin you should install here. It keeps a running count on how many comments each person has posted here, giving you, them, and everyone else a damn good indication of who’s contributing the most to the blog. It can even be an incentive for some people to comment more, and you really need that…
          https://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-commenters-comments-count/

          1. I think encouraging commenting for commenting sake is going to lead to a lot of unintended consequences.

            Not everything needs to be gamified.

          2. Bluto, people can easily spot an empty comment. I would hope it would encourage (?) those people who come in once a month to complain to be more active, to participate instead of just coasting without pedaling, so to speak. No matter. My final words on the subject, I’m outta here.

          3. Jonah

            I know you meant that.

            Because you are a very up front, guy.

            This place will pick up more, once the season begins.

          4. I dunno Jonah.

            I can understand your desire for a more robust community, but I find that strong discourse drives that more.

            Just rewarding people for commenting sounds like a Pandora’s Box to me.

  9. Historical Giant fan here, even though I grew up in So. Cal, but more and more just a fan of baseball and particularly a fan of the rivalry that should be hot this year.

    Are you guys worried about getting the ball to Jansen?

    I want to say that the Dodgers are still favored in the west on the strength of their talent depth and their ability to hit the ball over the fence and put runs on the board. It seems the Giants have an advantage with starting rotation and possibly bullpen. Their defense may be a smidge ahead. Should the Dodgers be favored at all if Giants have an edge pitching? Do they even have an edge?

    Well, you guys picked up a legit Roogy. It will be fun seeing him throw that slider to Buster Posey. I imagine Hunter Pence won’t have a chance.

    Regards

    Rye

    1. I’m not worried. The Dodgers had the best bullpen in baseball in 2016, ranking at the top in most categories like ERA, strikeout percentage, WHIP, and innings pitched. The Giants had the worst bullpen in MLB last year including 30 blown saves down the stretch. They signed Melancon which will help but they’re going to have to totally rebuild their bullpen from the ground up. The Dodger’s pitching staff is still one of the best in MLB, check out the numbers from 2016. The Giants had two very good starters, but the rest of their staff wasn’t very good. Matt Cain and Peavy are cooked, and Shark is up and down. Dodgers are still heavy favorites to win the NL West.

      1. I think I’d favor Dodgers as well, by a game or two.

        Shark is up and down, but Matt Moore has some ownage on the Dodgers. If Puig somehow bounces back big, the whole lefty starter riddle could be figured out.

        You guys have a strange pen. Who are these guys? Yes, great numbers last year, but can they back it up (outside Jansen).

        1. Different looks my friend. We learned during the Colleti years that past success is no indication of a good pen, especially if you wear them out like Torres and Mattingly. In Roberts and Honeycutt we trust when it comes to the pen, and the key is to give them the tools so they can mix and match, rather than rolling out the same type of pitchers every night. Romo fits a lot more here than you might think, because his slider tendencies allow Dayton and Baez and Jansen’s pitches to play up. I just wish we had a rubber arm ground ball relief pitcher that can go 2 innings or more if needed. Maybe not this year, but definitely next year as we have Oaks and De Jong coming up. This is a boon I don’t think other contenders have for the next 2-3 years.

    2. Hi Rye, welcome your views. I frequent Grant Brisbee’s blog and but other than that don’t know much about the Giants other than the basics.

      On the pitching side, I think over a long season the Dodgers have a clear edge in depth and they’ll likely win the division again based on this. But in the postseason I think the Giants have the edge. I write more later.

      1. Grant has really become a respectable writer. I enjoy reading his material more and more.

        Dodgers go deep in depth, and they will need it on the mound. Giants have some depth behind the wobbly Matt Cain, mainly Ty Blach, a low K, innings eater of a lefty whom Dodgers saw in the final week of season when he pitched a gem. Didn’t seem like they were picking ball up out of his hand, and he is a lefty, and that was a shot in the foot for Dodgers lineup last year.

        Giants need to stay healthy. One key guy goes down and the ship could sink.

        Dodgers other edge is the prospects. Bellinger may make a Pederson like splash and Verdugo is coming up right behind him. Incredible drafting. The Giants are jealous.

        Both Dodgers and Giants need to be mindful of the Rockies. They have some arms to that may be able to survive the wear and tear pitching in Denver. But their lineup is going to put up a lot of runs. It’s the 10 year anniversary of their World Series team as well.

        1. The Dodgers have a lot more prospects than the national media give them credit for. Oaks and De Jong are boba fide MLB innings eaters, and not only do our 2016 first and second rounders look decent, some our 2016 mid to late round draftees look semi-legit.

          On the Rockies, I think they’re more of a threat to the Giants than the Dodgers. You mentioned a good point that injuries will take a toll, but the Dodgers are essentially fielding two MLB teams with their depth. This is a different from the old George Steinbrenner Yankees approach, where they sign the big stars. With the FAZ, they shell out the money to build depth where they can and avoid the big long term contracts. I think the Rockies can go on runs but over a 162 game season, I think the depth and payroll wins out.

  10. PECOTA and USA Today team projections are out, so now we have several projections out including Fangraphs. What do people think? Maybe we need a new article post up on this?

    I think we’re good for 92-94 wins and win the NL West again with 3-4 games. I think the Giants will have problems with their number 4 and 5 starters this year and I don’t think they have any young arms coming up. I think we will end up with the third best ML record after the Cubs and the Astros. In the AL I like the Red Sox and the Indians, and I think either of them are better than any NL team.

    But it’s early.

    1. The only thing I worry about, when it comes to the Giants, are there two leftie starting pitchers, and Cueto.

      I think Scott being back and healthy, will help with the lefties, a long with Logan, but with Kike, and Puig, I just don’t know.

      I know Puig will be ok, but will he step up to the next level, and get better, instead of going down, for another year..

      I just don’t trust what I hear about him, because we have heard the same thing, for the last couple of years.

      And Kike said he was working on breaking balls, in the winter league, but his batting average in that league, was the exact same average he had last year, when he hit 190.

      And that tells me, that the articles on Kike, having trouble hitting curves, were accurate.

      And with Cueto, our guys still haven’t figured out, how to hit Cueto.

      We were only able to score one run off Cueto, in that last game against him, at Dodger stadium.

      And that was a HR from Turner.

      The only time we were able to score a decent amount of runs off Cueto, was only in the first inning, of the first game, we faced him, since he joined the Giants.

      And since then, our guys still haven’t figured Cueto out.

      Our guys will be facing Bumgarner and Moore, who are lefties, and lefties are our biggest weakness.

      And they haven’t touched Cueto, since that first game, so this is what worries me.

      1. They hit Queto pretty hard early in the season. In one game they scored 5 in the first inning off the guy. Nobody is perfect, not even the Mad Bum. Sometimes you get the fish, sometimes he gets you……Happens to every body. How do you think Giant fans feel when they see Kershaw step on the rubber. They are just praying he has a bad game. As for Puig, I am not worried about him at all. He has a ton of talent and a chip on his shoulder because he was embarrassed by that demotion last year, and he has something to prove. Will he be the Puig of 2013? I doubt that, but I believe he wants to be the starting RF every night and he is going to do all he can to get that position back. Hernandez should never be anything but a sub, and he is fighting this spring for his Dodger life because they have 2 other guys who can play the same positions he does, other than catcher, and are better defensively. Culberson and Taylor are both better fielders than Kike, and last year they both out hit him. I do not expect the Cuban, Fernandez to even make the team. Getting SVS healthy and Forsythe should help the problem that had with LHP. And from one year to the next, it never stays the same. They might crush lefty’s this year. The team does have a lot of versatility. You are worrying about way too much……Mad Bum or Cueto could have bad years. It happens to all big league players.

        1. Michael

          I know you are right, but it gets really frustrating with Cueto, because he really doesn’t have that good of stuff, or a good fastball.

          Everything is about his different deliveries, that messes with the hitter’s timing.

          I still don’t understand why baseball allows quick pitches, but softball doesn’t have balks, so to each, there own.

          And the only Dodger to make any gains with Cueto’s different deliveries, is Turner

          And you would think it would be harder for Turner, because of his leg kick, he uses for his timing.

          And I sure hope Puig takes this chance, and does well, because the fact that he didn’t respond to Roberts last year, makes me wonder, because Roberts went way out of his way, to try to help Puig last year.

          1. Softball has illegal pitches.

            I see no problem with what Cueto does out there. He’s on the rubber when he starts, as long as the ump says the ball is “in play” he can deliver it how he wants.

            I see the giants staff differently than most who view it through blue lenses. Bumgarner and Cueto should repeat what they did last year, or very close to it. That would be 200+ innings and 4.9, 5.5 WAR respectively. Samardzija- 190+ innings, 2.9 WAR, Moore 180+ innings 2.5 WAR. If they’ve plugged the bullpen (ungodly 30 blown saves) they will compete. Their starting staff is stronger than ours, by that I mean number of starts and innings pitched. Better? Remains to be seen.

          2. I like the quick pitch, it’s guile.

            I think Cueto, given his health concerns and low contact metrics, would have been a target for the Dodgers if his demands weren’t so exorbitant.

  11. Badger

    Yes in softball, a pitcher must present the ball first, by stopping and doing a presentation, to the hitter.

    A pitcher can do almost any type of wind up, if they have that one stop, to present the ball.

    And that allows a hitter, to get there timing, when the pitch will be thrown.

    The thing with Cueto is, without his different, deliveries, he isn’t all that.

    But I would think that the Dodger’s hitting coach, would have some type of info, or advice, on how the Dodger hitters, should attack Cueto.

    But I didn’t see to much success, or improvement, against Cueto last year, with the Dodger hitters.

    And Badger I agree with you, about the Giant starters, being able to pitch deeper into games, then our starters.

    Bluto

    There was a commentor on this site, that had a good idea, about how the Dodgers, should have signed Cueto, before the 2016 season.

    He said that since Cueto has that opt out, after two years, he would have signed Cueto, and back loaded his contract, and let him go, after that two years, because of his injury concerns.

    And I think that was a good idea, especially since the Dodgers did almost the same thing, with Kazmir.

    1. You don’t “let someone go” if they have an opt out. That’s the players choice. If you back load and he sucks, he ain’t leaving and you have another McCarthy, Kazmir, Anderson on the books. We’ve paid, and continue to pay, a lot of less than contracts. Cueto might get to that point, but, at 31 he ain’t there yet, and they actually pay him less later. He can opt out after ’17, which makes this year a Greinke year. I look for him to be very good and somebody will probably give him 5 years. It seems to be how this game works. If he sucks, which we all hope happens, the giants keep him until ’21 @ $21mm per.

  12. The one that got away was Cole Hamels. It’s like the anti-Trade. Anyways I’m all in on the kids and internal improvement. The fewer deals the better. Wish we had Peraza and Montas (and De Leon).

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