He showed that Sunday, despite his previous employer telling him he was moving across the country less than 24 hours earlier and despite an early wake-up call.
“The excitement, the adrenaline, I don’t know. It just kind of consumes you at times. It’s really fun to be in a situation where they’re striving for the best,” said Romo, acquired by Minnesota in a trade with the Miami Marlins on Saturday. “They’re reaching for the stars, and that’s awesome, so let’s go. I’m not very tall, but I’ll try to reach too.”
The new Twins reliever, acquired along with two other players for prospect Lewin Diaz, went to sleep at 2 a.m. in Miami. Three hours later, he awoke. He took a 6 a.m. flight to Atlanta, where he had a short layover before continuing on to Chicago.
When he arrived in Chicago, he reunited with manager Rocco Baldelli — who he knows from his days with Tampa Bay — and former teammates including Jake Odorizzi, C.J. Cron and Ehire Adrianza.
Adrianza and Romo were teammates in San Francisco, where Romo won three World Series rings. This, Romo reminded Adrianza of, by pointing to his ring finger.
“I wouldn’t remind repeating that again,” Romo said.
Romo posted a 3.58 earned-run average in 38 games pitched with the Marlins this season to go along with 17 saves. Romo, who features a slider-changeup combination, has struck out 33 to 13 walks in 37 2/3 innings. The 36-year-old has a career earned-run average of 2.91, spanning 12 years.
“He’s got his own set of mechanics,” Baldelli said. “He has a unique pitch that I don’t know anyone else in baseball has one that resembles it, but it’s effective and it works and probably the fact that it’s a little bit different than anybody else is what gives it a lot of its effectiveness. He’s going to break the mold in his own way, but you need guys to break the mold if you’re going to do big things.”
With Romo’s addition, the Twins designated Carlos Torres, who they had called up days prior, for assignment. Torres becomes the fifth reliever the Twins have designated in the month. The Twins still have three open spots on their 40-man roster and are expected to continue to be active ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
Romo was so excited to be on a team with playoff aspirations that he didn’t even consider staying in Miami — where the Twins will play next — and waiting for the team to meet him there.
“There’s no waiting. … We’re really trying to make a playoff push, so I’ve got to be here. You know what I mean? They’re trying to get me to come in and help out, so the sooner the better, you know?” Romo said. “I noticed that they lost yesterday and the lead went down to one. Yeah, we can’t keep letting that happen, so we’ve got to try to win so all hands on deck.”