Daulton Jefferies got to watch firsthand a three-time World Series pitcher in a spring training game on Friday. Sergio Romo was the “starter” in the A's 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday.
No, Romo won’t be a starter for the A’s this season. The weather wasn’t looking promising, so manager Bob Melvin advised having some of the backend guys get some action. Jefferies, the original starter, was impressed.
“I’m happy that Romo got to open, got to see him do his thing, which -- I haven’t really seen him throw yet so that was pretty exciting to watch,” Jefferies told reporters after the game.
“Sergio’s been pitching for 12 years, and he’s been throwing a slider and everyone knows he’s throwing a slider and he’s still here 12 years later so I think that’s pretty impressive,” Jefferies said.
Jefferies is more and more confident in his own slider saying, he feels great throwing it and he’s past that initial phase -- the phase that has his thoughts saying, ‘Don’t be afraid to bounce it.’”
Romo’s slider has been the topic of conversation among pitchers at camp, especially for starter Chris Bassitt. He has been trying to add a slider into his arsenal for years. Romo noticed he was frustrated trying to perfect his grip on the pitch, and stepped in.
“He saw me struggling in the backfields, getting mad with the slider, and he just kind of showed me his pitch grip and I was like ‘Dang this is funky, but I really like it,' and it’s kind of just blossomed from there,” Bassitt said Wednesday.
A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson also has been working with both Jefferies and Bassitt on their sliders.
“It was great to see those guys warm up and get to know their routine a little bit -- veteran guys that are very approachable, so I think that helps us younger guys a lot,” Jefferies said.
And in addition to Romo’s slider, he's just a good vibes kind of guy.
“Oh he’s a character, man,” Jefferies said. “I don’t know if you saw the mic’d up thing, but all he does is sing, and dance and yell.”
Here’s the mic’d up thing.
“[Romo] just comes in and just has a lot of confidence in who he is and knows who he is and he’s not going to shy away from who he is and we love him for that,” Jefferies said. “He’s going to be a great part of this team.”