On April 13, the Seattle Mariners placed RHP Sergio Romo on the Injured List with right shoulder inflammation and made it retroactive to April 12. The team also selected the contract of RHP Matt Koch from the Tacoma Rainiers. The move came as a surprise because Romo was looking good in his two innings with the Mariners, allowing zero runs and striking out three. The move is disappointing since the 39-year-old looked like a solid relief option for skipper Scott Servais.
Losing Sergio Romo is disappointing, especially since he looked like one of the better relievers for the Mariners early on this year. Romo was looking like a perfect replacement for Casey Sadler, who was one of the best middle relievers in baseball last year. Hopefully, Romo won’t need more than 10 days to be out since the injury is hopefully not serious. Romo said the injury was in part due to having a shorter Spring Training since he signed with the Mariners after Spring Training started.
Sergio Romo is out… so who is Matt Koch?
Since the club lost Romo to an injury so early, they had to go to the minor leagues for another relief option. The club decided to select the contract of Rainiers reliever Matt Koch, who has also had a really strong first two innings this season. In his first appearance of the year, Koch had an immaculate inning against the Angels AAA team, the Salt Lake Bees. He struck out all three hitters he faced on 9 pitches.
In his two innings for AAA Tacoma, Koch has faced 6 batters and struck out 5 of them, so he has been on fire so far. Hopefully, Koch brings that same strikeout rate to the Majors, and hopefully Romo can get healthy so he can return to the Mariners bullpen. It will be interesting to see how much Koch is used, and how long Romo is out, but with an expanded bullpen, for now, the impact should be minimal as long as the starting pitchers go deep into games.