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Sergio Romo has a 33.00 ERA and isn’t throwing his slider

Mar 10, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

sergio romo getty Getty Images

Sergio Romo has been one of the best relievers in baseball for six seasons now, posting a 2.27 ERA and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings for his career, but he’s gotten knocked around this spring while allowing 12 runs in three innings.

That includes retiring zero of the five batters he faced in his last outing, but Andrew Baggarly of notes that Romo has been pitching without using his slider–one of the most devastating offerings in all of baseball–and no one involved with the Giants seems especially worried about his struggles.

On the other hand Romo’s strikeout rate declined significantly last season and his velocity was down as well. He’s had enough arm problems over the years that saving his slider until games that actually matter could be a good idea, but in the meantime there’s at least a little reason for Giants fans to wonder if something else is up.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    These sort of stories pop up every spring. A guy spends his time working on a new pitch, or ignores his best pitch in favor of improving his other pitches. Guys also tend to throw a LOT more fastballs in ST in order to strengthen their arms and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. ST is typically a long warm up session with focus on control and the little things. I’m sure he will be fine once the season comes.

    • icanspeel - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Pretty much. It’s why it’s hard to base much on Spring performances.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Based solely on Spring Training 2014, the Baltimore Orioles will average 8.9 runs a game, giving up 1.2 runs a game, and will win approximately 160 games this season.

  2. illuminancer - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    There really isn’t any reason for Giants fans to worry about Romo. His “no dot” slider may be his primary weapon, but it’s no longer a secret. Working on his other pitches in spring training makes sense.

    I’m spending my worry points on second base, because it’s not looking promising for Scutaro.

    • temporarilyexiled - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      The Giants have always watched Romo carefully. He’s no physical “giant” and he relies on a slider, which isn’t exactly easy on the arm – as though repeatedly throwing overhand ever is.

      Scutaro may be Sanchez II. They better hope Adrianza can hit. The other options…aren’t.

  3. sportsdrenched - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    He just looks like he’s not using his slider.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Didn’t Lincecum also not throw a slider all of last spring, to some media fanfare? Maybe it was 2 years ago, but that might indicate that it is an organizational philosophy, or at least an approach they are willing to allow.

  5. bostonboresme - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Cool tidbit of the night: Wade Boggs has a lower career ERA than Romo this spring.

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