Sergio Romo

Romo excited to take on new challenge as Giants pre/post analyst

NBC Universal, Inc.

Programming note: Romo will make his NBC Sports Bay Area debut on "Giants Pregame Live," which airs at 5:45 p.m. PT, before Tuesday's Giants-Mets game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sergio Romo made 821 regular-season appearances in the big leagues and 30 more in the MLB playoffs. During every title season, he took the mound at least 70 times for the Giants. When there was a tough right-hander coming up in the late innings, Romo almost always was Bruce Bochy's guy. 

Romo is used to being busy, but in his second season away from the game, he is discovering it can come in a very different form. The 41-year-old has five boys, ranging from 3 years old to 18, and his days are filled with sporting events and video games and just generally chasing them around. 

Starting Tuesday, Romo will add something else to a full plate. He's joining NBC Sports Bay Area as an analyst for the pregame and postgame shows and will debut Tuesday alongside former Giants teammate George Kontos. During an interview that aired on Tuesday's "Giants Talk," Romo said he hopes he can bring "something unique" to the new role. 

"I think my mind, the way I think and the way I see things, and my approach to playing baseball and the way I prepared, I think it was entertaining to me," he said. "So I feel like it would be a little bit insightful [with] some entertainment mixed in with it."

Romo certainly took a unique path to and through the big leagues, and he was so successful that later this season he'll go up on the Wall of Fame at Oracle Park alongside Core Four teammates Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla. The only one of the four to close out a World Series, Romo had the unlikeliest path. 

He was an undersized right-hander who never threw hard and had to fight his way through the minors as a 28th-round draft pick. But one of the game's best sliders carried Romo and allowed him to pitch until 2022. In a way, he was well ahead of his time in leaning on one dominant breaking ball, which is an approach that many pitching coaches have embraced in recent years. 

During that final season, Romo was teammates with new Giants players Matt Chapman and Robbie Ray. He knows Bob Melvin from a stint with the Oakland Athletics and was in Tampa Bay with Blake Snell and Alex Cobb on the Rays. Romo still is so close to his playing days that he has faced many current Giants hitters. There's one who stood out, and he might not be the first guess for most fans. 

"I think Wilmer [Flores] was the one who probably gave me the toughest [at-bats]," Romo said. "For some reason, against me, it was always seven- or eight-pitch at-bats and he would hit four or five foul balls. He was just battling up there."

Romo and Flores first faced off a decade ago. Last year, they were briefly teammates when Romo spent time in camp to prepare for a goodbye appearance at Oracle Park. That's another stint that should give him a unique perspective in his new role, and he's looking forward to talking about a team that's looking to have a good homestand before a difficult three-city trip.

Romo's boys keep him busy, but as a San Francisco resident, he has been watching his former teammates and opponents closely. 

"I think when they find their groove, when their sails catch some wind, this team is dangerous. I really do believe so," he said. "They have some quality pieces. They have some pop in the bat bringing [Jorge] Soler in and Chapman in, and some sneaky pop like LaMonte Wade and Patrick Bailey, there's some sneaky pop there.

"Pitching, though, I'm very impressed with the arms that they have, especially the young bucks. They may not have found that consistent success up to this point but I'm definitely excited for what the future brings for those young bucks, especially in the bullpen. Guys like [Landen] Roupp, those guys can really throw the ball and make it spin, too. I'm more of a spin guy than a velo guy, so I've paid a lot of attention to the relievers. They've got some good arms."

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