Newly minted Dodgers righty Sergio Romo discussed his interesting journey to joining his hometown team with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Personal trials and the strain of an increasingly high-profile role in the Giants bullpen put a strain on the veteran hurler, he tells Rosenthal. He credits several former teammates, including lefty Javier Lopez, with helping him to find his footing once again. Also of note, Rosenthal says that Romo “reject[ed] a higher offer from the Rays” to head to Los Angeles, due in part to the ability to live closer to his family.
Here’s more from out west:
- Righty Jesse Hahn is set to receive the Athletics’ first start this spring, as Susan Slusser notes on Twitter. That’s a solid indication that he’s under serious consideration for the fifth starters’ role, she notes. The 27-year-old is looking to bounce back after a rough 2016 campaign in which he pitched to a 6.02 ERA with just 4.5 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 in his 46 1/3 MLB innings. Hahn had generated quality results in his first two MLB campaigns, which occurred on both sides of a trade that sent him to Oakland from the Padres in exchange for catcher Derek Norris. But elbow troubles interrupted his 2015 campaign, and he has yet to get back on track.
- Mariners president Kevin Mather issued a statement to MLB.com in advance of the 2017 campaign, expressing high hopes for the organization. While any executive would express an intention to win a championship, his words seem to carry a certain set of expectations for the near term. “It is time to play October baseball in Seattle,” writes Mather. “Our fans deserve playoff baseball, and I’m not just talking about a Wild Card Game. Once in the playoffs, our goal is to win the World Series. Period. And having said that, we don’t want to win just one.”
- New Diamondbacks exec Amiel Sawdaye — whose title is senior VP and assistant GM — spoke with David Laurila of Fangraphs about the organization’s new approach. Sawdaye is only one of several key figures in Arizona with deep ties to the Red Sox, so it’s not surprising to learn that Boston’s approach will be reflected. He describes the intended decisionmaking process as “more of a flat hierarchy.” Sawdaye emphasized, though, that the D-Backs had strong player development and scouting units, good young front office people, and a “decent infrastructure” for analytics already in place. There are several other topics covered in the interesting chat, including the Jean Segura trade and the team’s possibilities for 2017.
- Jorge De La Rosa is among the players competing for a role with the Diamondbacks this spring, and as MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert notes, he’s hoping to finally crack the big league roster there in his third stint with the organization. Of course, De La Rosa had only previously actually suited up for a few minor-league outings as an 18-year-old; his second run with Arizona only lasted a few days. Now 35, the veteran southpaw will be looking for a chance to pitch against his former club, the division-rival Rockies. “I have always liked this team, and I like the talent we have here,” says De La Rosa of the D-Backs. “I know we can do some really good things. That’s why I chose to be here.”