JUPITER, Fla. -- It could be opening, closing or anything in between. Whatever role is asked, Sergio Romo is willing to try.From the sounds of things, the Marlins intend to be creative in the usage of their newest bullpen addition.Spring Training:Schedule | Info | Tickets | GearMiami officially announced Romo's
JUPITER, Fla. -- It could be opening, closing or anything in between. Whatever role is asked, Sergio Romo is willing to try.
From the sounds of things, the Marlins intend to be creative in the usage of their newest bullpen addition.
Spring Training:Schedule | Info | Tickets | Gear
Miami officially announced Romo's signing on Friday morning. The right-hander, who was part of three World Series teams with the Giants, reached agreement on a one-year, $2.5 million contract on Tuesday, but his first day in camp was Friday.
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To create 40-man roster room, the Marlins placed Rule 5 Draft selection Julian Fernández on the 60-day disabled list. Coming off Tommy John surgery, the right-hander isn't expected to be ready until around May or June.
After spending 2018 with the Rays, with whom he appeared in 73 games with five starts and 25 saves, Romo embraced the chance to join a young Marlins organization.
"The ways they have ideas to use me on the field is exciting," Romo said. "It could be opening, it could be closing. It could be any situation --- one through nine, let's go."
As the game evolves, so has the thinking of bullpen usage.
"You have to be open-minded to be willing to do different things," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It may be the right thing for your team, and it may not. But you definitely have to be open, I think, to doing whatever it takes to get the most out of your team."
Mattingly hasn't ruled out Romo opening or closing. With 109 career saves, Romo gives Mattingly another option for the ninth inning along with right-hander Drew Steckenrider and lefty Adam Conley.
"The biggest thing is, he knows who he is, and he knows what he does, and he knows how to use his repertoire," Mattingly said. "That's the main thing for guys. When you get guys who know how to use their stuff, and how it complements each other, and how to use their pitches, then you're going to get guys who are effective."
The signature pitch for Romo throughout his 11-year career has been his slider, which, according to Statcast™, he threw 58 percent of the time in 2018, with an average velocity of 76.9 mph. Fifty-two of his 75 strikeouts came via the slider.
But Mattingly noted that Romo is using his changeup more to lefties. It's a pitch he throws 12 percent of the time.
Romo is taking the mentality of being ready for any opportunity.
"There's no hanging out," Romo said. "I've got to be ready from the beginning. The cool thing is, they told me they'd let me know. Obviously, it's not going to be anything thrown on me, a surprise or whatnot. But it's pretty cool ideas. For me, I've always had a lot of fun playing baseball."
Romo, who turns 36 next month, gives the bullpen a veteran leader who embraces being around a young team. He was in a similar situation a year ago with Tampa Bay, a club that surprised by winning 90 games in the American League East.
"I've been blessed to have some pretty awesome experiences come my way and to be on some amazing teams," Romo said. "I'm not coming to change anybody. It's just coming to figure out who they are, and have fun.
"Really, it's just letting them know that they're the ones responsible for their own careers. If they figure it out, or whatnot, if it clicks."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.