Rays Acquire Romo | The Process Report

Rays Acquire Romo

This was a move that we were actually advocating for before the season began.

However, much like the Chris Carter acquisition we pined for in the winter months, did not happen. The way both players have performed this season, it is a good thing those moves did not happen before the season. The Rays are clearly hoping Romo’s worst baseball is behind him and are hoping he can come in as a slimmer version of Jumbo Diaz and do what Diaz struggled to do – miss bats.

Pitcher TBF  O-Contact%  Z-Contact%  Contact%  SwSTR% 
Diaz 136 68% 86% 79% 11%
Romo 108 52% 77% 66% 15%

Romo, in essence, is an upgrade in ability from Diaz as well as experience from Andrew Kittredge. That said, there is a reason why he was designated for assignment by the Dodgers and traded for cash to the Rays. He maxes out in the mid to upper 80’s these days and more often than not, a batter is going to see a slider. Romo’s margin for error is slimmer due to the fact his velocity is waning and his slider, while still a good pitch, lacks the same whiffiness it had when Romo was a key cog of the Giants’ pen.

He has already allowed as many homers to righties in 2017 – six – as he did across 2015 and 2016. The slider still helps him limit righties by batting average, but opposing righty hitters have made him pay when he fails to execute his pitch. There is also no reason for him to face lefty batters in anything but low leverage situations.

Romo could very well be as bad as his numbers in Los Angeles suggest, but despite the struggles, he is still generating swings and misses and striking out major league hitters at an above league average rate. This acquisition is an inexpensive addition to a bullpen that needs help but hopefully is not the only addition the team makes this month. He is here to fill a role in the bullpen, but the team still needs to find more weapons to neutralize lefty batters and someone that can come in and generate a groundball double-play when the situation arises.

The best-case scenario here is the Rays get out of Romo what the Giants got out of Sam Dyson since picking him up on the cheap from the Rangers earlier this season:

The worst-case scenario is he continues to perform poorly and he ends up as the next veteran to be shown the DFA door while another name comes up from Durham in a few weeks.

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