Romo fired 1.2 scoreless innings in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Red Sox, allowing a hit and recording a strikeout. The move to the American League has been relatively successful for Romo, who has three scoreless efforts over six appearances in a Rays uniform. The 34-year-old has worked at least an inning in three straight outings as well, so manager Kevin Cash appears comfortable relying on him for multi-inning assignments if necessary. He's also afforded Romo a brisk workload, having already sent him out on seven occasions over his first 16 days with the club.
Romo was credited with his first hold in a Rays uniform in Thursday's extra-inning loss to the Yankees, allowing a hit and recording a strikeout over a scoreless two-thirds of an inning. The 34-year-old was asked to protect a 5-3 lead when he came on with one out in the seventh and was able to get out of the frame by striking out Gary Sanchez with a man on. After debuting in a low-leverage scenario against the Orioles on Monday, manager Kevin Cash upped the ante somewhat Thursday by bringing Romo in with a narrow lead. Therefore, the former closer could see some additional hold opportunities in the short term as the Rays look to determine how trustworthy he might be after a rough stint with the Dodgers earlier this season.
Romo allowed an earned run on two hits over one inning in Monday's 5-0 loss to the Orioles. He also recorded a strikeout. The veteran reliever threw 20 pitches in his Rays debut and recorded first-pitch strikes on four of the five batters he faced. However, he allowed an RBI single and sacrifice fly after taking over for starter Blake Snell with runners on base, with the latter run going on his ledger. Romo is likely to get frequent work in some low-leverage scenarios as manager Kevin Cash looks to figure out what he has in the former closer.
The Rays activated Romo on Monday, making him available for the team's series opener against the Orioles. The Rays acquired Romo via trade late Saturday, but he wasn't formally added to 40-man roster until Monday, when the team released Rickie Weeks (shoulder) to create room for him. With 84 career saves, Romo will bring ample experience to the Rays' bullpen, but based on how he performed with the Dodgers this season, it's unclear whether he'll actually represent an upgrade over Tampa's existing setup options. Romo compiled a 6.12 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 25 innings before Los Angeles designated him for assignment last week.
Romo, who the Rays acquired late Saturday for cash considerations, has the confidence of the organization despite recent struggles, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "I think any time a guy who throws mid to upper 80s, when they hit a rough patch, it's easy to say he's toast, he's done," GM Erik Neander said Sunday. "The way that we look at it is we think what he brings to the table, the ability to miss bats, a lot of that's still there." The 34-year-old reliever often looked like a shadow of his former self over his 25 innings with the Dodgers this season, posting a 6.12 ERA and career-worst 4.3 BB/9. However, it's his extensive body of work prior to 2017 that has the Rays cautiously optimistic that a change of scenery will bring out the best of what Romo has left to offer. The organization actually had keen interest in the former closer during the offseason, with his career 0.98 WHIP and .189 BAA versus right-handed hitters serving as two particularly appealing factors. Now that he's finally arrived in Tampa, manager Kevin Cash will experiment with how best to deploy the three-time World Series winner out of the bullpen, with Romo most likely to initially get acclimated in some low-leverage scenarios.
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