During the true non-conference portion of the Arizona Wildcats schedule, a few of the junior college transfers they were relying on weren’t putting up good numbers or having good showings.
Things have changed in recent weeks for a variety of reasons. For Seve Romo, it’s a more comfortable feeling in his shoulder.
“Earlier in the year I was fighting a rotator cuff injury; it was just pretty tight,” Romo told me. “Now I feel great.”
Romo said that the rotator cuff started feeling off the second weekend into the schedule. He had an outing that Friday against McNeese State where he didn’t record an out while giving up a hit and a walk.
After that, he only appeared in one game over the next month, which was at Texas Tech. Romo allowed five earned runs in 2⁄3 of an inning that night.
“It was just pretty tight,” he continued about how it was injured. “We did a lot of rehab and it’s back to normal.”
Since March 26th, Romo has now made four appearances, all lasting at least two innings.
“The last four times out have been good,” head coach Jay Johnson said about his former USD recruit. “We can work with that and that’s what we were hoping for. It’s a big lift for us.”
“He’s gotten kind of freed up there,” Johnson added about fixing the shoulder issue. “I check in with him all the time and we’ve been able to use him right to where he’s been really effective for us and then get him the proper amount of rest, and he’s bounced back really well the last few times. So hopefully we’ll be able to slot him well.”
“I think a lot of it has to do with health, and a lot of it has to do with experience,” Romo added about his recent stretch of quality outings. “Last time I pitched in a Division-1 game was two years ago. I struggled a little bit in the beginning, but now that I’ve gotten my groove back, you get up there and feel confident, and it’s a game changer for sure.”
On Tuesday, Romo had the best outing of his Arizona career, throwing 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings against the Grand Canyon Antelopes.
“Definitely getting my slider over for strikes,” he explained of his success at GCU. “When I do that, it definitely makes things a lot easier just because they couldn’t sit on a pitch.”
“The slider’s been coming around and I’m just gonna ride it, and my changeup’s coming around too, so if I can command all three pitches then hopefully I’ll be successful.”
“He has a really good breaking ball,” JJ Matijevic said of his teammate. “He got a lot of swing and misses, and he was throwing that for strikes tonight. I was very impressed.”
That breaking ball command may be the biggest sign of Romo’s full recovery, but the velocity in his fastball is looking pretty normal for him as well.
“I’m definitely 100%,” Romo continued. “The fastball is back to what it was in the fall, so it’s pretty exciting to see that.”
“He looked good tonight,” Johnson added after Tuesday’s game. “I thought the sharpness on his slider was pretty electric, and it’s a good niche that he has.”
“If we get more of that he’s going to continue to expand his role.”