Welcome back to the “Grading the 2019 Twins” series. It’s almost training camp, so let’s power through this. The last four articles were Littell, Pineda, Parker, and Adrianza, who has all the other links.
It only took two months as a relief moundsman for the Minnesota Twins and a friendly chili-bearing neighbor to bring Sergio Romo back into the fold for 2020.
The 36-year-old veteran joined the Twins four days before the July 31 trade deadline, Minnesota sending Lewin Diaz to the Marlins, and Romo immediately became the primary eighth-inning set-up man. Though serving mainly as a closer for Miami, finishing the game in 28 of his 38 appearances (with 17 saves) for his NL East club, after switching to the AL Central Romo entered the game in the eighth inning in 19 of his 27 appearances, recording only three of his 20 saves on the season but 16 of his 17 total holds as a Twin.
In that eighth-inning role, often setting up for Taylor Rogers in the ninth, Romo not only brought an infectious energy but a reliable veteran arm. Among all Twins with at least 20 innings pitched, Romo’s 3.18 ERA tied for sixth, his 3.35 FIP ranked fifth, and his 0.926 WHIP finished first... among all Twins pitchers.
When re-signing with the Twins in December, Romo provided a pair of all-time quotes. The first:
The final thing was just a phone call from Rocco. “Hey, Serge, what’s up?” “Hey, Roc, what’s up?” “Ey, you want to do this?” “Yeah, let’s do this!”
And the second:
People here in Minnesota, I’m sorry, I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a neighbor knock on my door to bring me some chili. “Here! We made some chili! Thought of you!” You know what I’m saying? I can’t really think of a place where that’s happened.
Romo loves Minnesota and we love him. It’ll be fun seeing him on the Target Field mound again.
Overall Grade: A
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