JUPITER, Fla. -- News that Giants manager Bruce Bochy plans to retire after the 2019 season certainly hits close to home for Marlins reliever Sergio Romo.Romo broke in with San Francisco in 2008, a year after Bochy joined the organization. Together, they celebrated three World Series championships."Wow. What a career,"
JUPITER, Fla. -- News that Giants manager Bruce Bochy plans to retire after the 2019 season certainly hits close to home for Marlins reliever Sergio Romo.
Romo broke in with San Francisco in 2008, a year after Bochy joined the organization. Together, they celebrated three World Series championships.
"Wow. What a career," Romo said on Tuesday morning. "As a player. As a manager. As a father figure. He pretty much turned into all of our grandpas. He's going to be missed, for sure."
Bochy announced his retirement plans on Monday at Giants camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., The 64-year-old noted "It's time" as he embarks on his 25th big league managerial season -- spanning from 1995-2006 with San Diego, and '07-'19 in San Francisco.
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"I'm thankful for him," Romo said. "There's a lot of people out there that doubted me ... but that guy never did."
A former Giants closer and setup reliever, Romo was part of World Series teams in 2010, '12 and '14.
Throughout, Romo credits Bochy for believing in him.
"He had confidence in you," Romo said. "He knew who you were. Took the time to know who you are. Took the time to get to know you. Cared about your family. Cared about just you."
From the first day Romo was called up to the big leagues in 2008, Bochy helped the then-rookie pitcher feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
"He walked up, and right away, welcomed me," Romo said. "He said, 'I need you to be you.' The guy took his time to know who you are. He knew your strengths, knew your weaknesses. Knew what you could use help in. Knew what you didn't need help in. But he always seemed to know what his pieces could do, and when and where to use them. He had an incredible sense of instincts. What a judge in character, also."
Alcantara to start Saturday
The Marlins open Grapefruit League play at 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday against the Cardinals. Miami will be the home team at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.
Manager Don Mattingly announced Tuesday that Sandy Alcantara will start for the Marlins. The 23-year-old was 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA in six starts for the Marlins as a rookie in 2018.
Alcantara was acquired from the Cardinals after the 2017 season as part of the Marcell Ozuna trade.
Rounding the bases
There are some colorful bases on the back fields at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. They're not just a fashion statement: Some of the bases have the corners painted red or blue for a reason.
They're serving as a teaching tool for Marlins coaches, specifically first base/infield coach Trey Hillman, who also works with baserunning.
"It's for baserunning," Hillman said. "We're trying to get the guys really focused on bag position, because inches matter. We can utilize that part of the base for gaining momentum, and good, solid direction with body position, and get to the next base."
The staff is preaching "two-base momentum," meaning they want their runners to better put themselves in position to advance two bases.
"We're going to really try to emphasis two-base momentum -- second-to-home, first-to-third, and home-to-second," Hillman said.
It didn't take long for batters to face pitchers in a controlled setting. On the second day of full-squad workouts, hitters stepped in against pitchers, who had a six-day head start in Spring Training.
One of the more interesting encounters was between Alcantara and outfield prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
Mesa put the ball in play, hitting a grounder to the right side of the infield.
The Marlins are back on the field at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. All 68 players are in camp, and workouts will include batting practice matchups between pitchers and hitters.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.