Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

"First throw in the American League," Romo told his new throwing partner.

The engaging, energetic and entertaining Romo joined his new teammates two days after the Rays acquired him from the Dodgers for cash considerations.

"I'm excited because they honestly believe I can help, and I have the same belief," Romo said. "I know I'm going to do well here. It has a good feeling and a good vibe already."

He made his Rays debut in the eighth inning, replacing LHP Blake Snell with two runners on, and allowed two singles and a sacrifice fly as the Orioles broke open a one-run game and went on to a 5-0 victory.

"He hasn't pitched in quite some time. That was part of the reason to get him out there," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Romo pitched once this month for the Dodgers, and that was July 8, when he went one-third of an inning against the Royals. He joked before the game that he would be fresh because of the long layoff.

Cash said he liked what he saw from the rusty Romo, especially his out pitch, the slider.

"He's got a lot of sweep to the slider that once he gets going and commanding the ball the way he wants, that's going to give a lot of right-handers issues at the plate," Cash said.

Romo, who helped the Giants to three World Series title, struggled in 30 appearances with the Dodgers with a 6.12 ERA in 25 innings. He said that had a lot to do with how he was used. Most of the opportunities went to the younger pitchers in the Dodgers bullpen.

"I definitely feel I have a lot left," he said.

He added, "I'm glad to be here. I'm really, really excited. I'm glad for the chance to play, a chance to contribute. It's going to be fun. Just watch."

Ramos suffers head injury

C Wilson Ramos received six staples on the top of his scalp above his left eye after being struck with the barrel of a broken bat during the fifth inning. "It feels good right now," he said after the game. "Just a little light-headed. The doctor says nothing is happening." Ramos was hit by the barrel after Orioles SS Ruben Tejada's bat broke as he grounded to shortstop. He wanted to stay in but the Rays training staff couldn't stop the cut from bleeding. He is expected to miss tonight's game and return Wednesday.

Weeks released

The Rays released 1B Rickie Weeks after activating him from the disabled list, where he had been for the past 37 games with a right shoulder impingement.

The move was made to clear room on the 40-man roster for Romo.

"It just came down to a roster spot," Cash said. "We just didn't have it for him."

With Logan Morrison the full-time first baseman and the right-handed-hitting Trevor Plouffe acquired to back up the corner infield spots, there was no need for Weeks.

Miscellany

. INF Daniel Robertson (neck spasms) is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday at Class A Charlotte. CF Kevin Kiermaier (right hip fracture) could join him, though Cash said there is no rush for Kiermaier, who is not eligible to come off the DL until Aug. 9.

. RHP Andrew Kittredge was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room on the active roster for Romo.

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