It is easy to point the finger at Sergio Romo. The former All Star closer had been signed to fill a key spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen, capable of filling any role they needed him in. He has had a great deal of success in any role from being the first opener in the modern era to closing, the type of pitcher that winning teams covet.
But at 38 years old, Father Time will eventually catch up with Romo. His low octane fastball will eventually become hitable, and his control will fade away. It appeared as though the start of that regression occurred last year, but his numbers were skewed by a pair of bad outings.
Sergio Romo will be just fine
This season seemingly paints a different picture. Romo has been one of the worst relievers in the A’s bullpen, posting a 6.00 ERA and a 1.467 WHiP in 15 innings entering Sunday. When he allowed three runs on two hits and two walks while recording just one out, it was more of the same.
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Even that outing was not quite what the numbers would seem. After striking out the first batter he faced, Romo had runners on first and second when Jose Rojas hit a grounder to the right side. Although the ball was scored as a hit, it seemed to be a play that Tony Kemp should have made, especially as the ball had an expected batting average of .200. While Romo unraveled after that, the inning could have been much different if Kemp made the play.
The A’s defense has actually failed Romo all season. His FIP entering Sunday was 3.88, the second largest gap between his expected ERA and his actual ERA on the pitching staff. While his FIP will increase after Sunday’s implosion, Romo has not been the disaster that his raw statistics would indicate.
It is worth noting that the A’s still have faith in the veteran righty. Even though manager Bob Melvin has plenty of other options in the bullpen, he still turns to Romo for those key outs in the sixth or seventh inning. He can tell that Romo has performed better than the numbers would appear, keeping the faith that he will eventually get back on track.
Based on the raw numbers, Sergio Romo has struggled this season. However, a deeper look into his performance indicates that he will be just fine.