It is safe to say Sergio Romo is no longer underrated. Well, he could possibly still be underrated but he is no longer under-appreciated or even under-utilized. Closing big games en route to a World Series championship will do that. Freezing the Triple Crown winner and American League MVP with the last pitch of the season goes a long way to making a player recognizable.
Sergio Romo has performed as one of the game’s finer relievers, appreciated by those who bothered to look. In 2012, Romo stepped into the role of “guy who gets saves and/or celebrates on the mound” for the Giants, just in time for their dramatic run to the title.
After agreeing to a two-year contract extension with the Giants, it is smooth sailing for the affable Californian from now until free agency.
The deal is worth $9 Million total, according to Dan Plesac (via MLB TR), with $3.5MM for 2013 and $5.5MM in 2014. For the final two years of arbitration, that is a decent paycheck for a player who only pitches around 50 innings a year.
When he does pitch, Sergio Romo is simply spectacular. With a nod towards his judicious deployment by wise bullpen sage Bruce Bochy, Sergio Romo ranks second among relievers in FIP since the start of 2011, trailing only the otherworldly Craig Kimbrel with a combined 1.89 FIP. His ERA also nips at Kimbrel’s unhittable heels, checking in at 1.65, good for third among relievers.
Compared to Kimbrel’s massive frame and overpowering stuff, the diminutive Romo and his endless barrage of (seemingly) gentle sliders break down the will of batters determined to lay off the pitch destined to finished out of the zone. Slider after slider until, finally, they give in and wave over it harmlessly. The frisbee of doom fools the best of them and scrubs alike, as evidenced by Romo’s eye-popping 133/13 K to UIBB ratio over the last two years.
Because it isn’t always the slider, it is the THREAT of the slider, right Miggy?
There is a very real opportunity that this represents the best pay day of Romo’s career. What kind of market will there be for terrific reliever who comes with his own “handle with care” instruction manual? Romo suffered minor elbow ailments in both 2009 and 2011, not to mention the anecdotal connection between cutter/sliders and elbow trouble.
The Giants are all but assured to get the best years of Romo’s career, though a pitcher with Romo’s terrific control might survive longer with diminished stuff than a more overpowering thrower getting by on his gas.
And the rest
Yesterday was National Signing Day, which many find creepy and weird. Hold your scorn baseball, not exactly coming from a wholesome place here. [Baseball America]
That said, maybe the Miami New Times deserves more credit for revealing what they did and keeping quiet the information they weren’t quite as comfortable publishing [Eye on Baseball]
ESPN digs even deeper into this seemingly bottomless pit of despair and needles and Da U [Drugs!]
From the lighter side of sports, have you kicked your strawman today? [Philly Inky]
How do the Cardinals use sabremetrics? Spoiler alert: they use they well. [Sweetspot Blog]
Have you followed Craig Robinson and Eric Nusbaum at the Serie del Carib? You should, it’s awesome [Sports on Earth]
We also would have accepted “Hot Box Lunch” or “Hot Knives Lunch”
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) February 7, 2013