Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

The one-time closer for the Giants, Romo had a 6.12 ERA in 25 innings over 30 games this season for the Dodgers. Tampa Bay will send cash considerations to Los Angeles.

The Rays had tried to sign Romo in the offseason, mainly because he's good at getting out right-handed hitters.

"I'm excited," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It's a guy that had big-game experience and pitched in a lot of high-leverage situations. I think he'll complement our bullpen pretty well."

Romo had a rough time in Los Angeles, facing just one batter in July. The slider, his main pitch, was ineffective.

If anything, Romo will add depth and experience to the bullpen, perhaps serving as the first in the bridge to closer Alex Colome (left).

Romo, 34, has 84 career saves in 10 seasons, with most coming during a three-year span for the Giants between 2012-14. He saved a career-high 38 games in 2013. He had three saves for the Giants against the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.

Stretch time

Less proved to be more for RHP Jake Odorizzi during his last start when he pitched exclusively out of the stretch. The result was seven one-hit innings in the Rays' 3-2 win Monday at Oakland.

"Just limited the movements prior to throwing the pitch, and that changed a lot of things that outing," Odorizzi said. "Getting deep into the game, pitch count, pretty much everything you can name got better."

And since you stick with what's working, Odorizzi said he will continue to pitch out of the stretch this afternoon during the finale of the three-game series with the Rangers.

"It was a good move and it worked out," he said, "and I'm going to keep going with it."

Odorizzi said he always warms up out of the stretch because the most important pitches he will throw during a game are with a runner on base.

Odorizzi is one of a number of starters who work out of the stretch. "I think it's kind of catching on a little bit," he said. "It's just for simplicity, really."

Yu Darvish of the Rangers and Carlos Carrasco of the Indians have found success after ditching the windup when pitching with the bases empty.

"In theory, you would think it does simplify some things, keep your mechanics in line, in order a little better," Cash said.

Some pitchers feel they lose power when working out of the stretch.

"(Odorizzi's) game is not relied on power. It's more pitch mix and location," Cash said."

Quote of the day

"I think it's too early to say turn the corner. It was one start. But that was the best I felt during any point throughout the year, so trending in the right direction and I want to keep it going."

Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi, when asked if he "turned the corner" when he allowed one hit in seven innings in his last start

Christmas in July?

Oh yes. The Trop will be filled today with Christmas-themed entertainment and characters. Fans who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Salvation Army dropoffs outside Gates 1 and 4 will receive vouchers for two tickets to a home game this season. Bucs QB Jameis Winston will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

   
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