It doesn’t seem possible that there could ever be an “elephant in a room” that gets talked about a lot but here we are.
Ricky Romero was awful last year although he did manage a good start every now and then. He hasn’t been much better in spring training even though it’s almost impossible to judge a player from spring training. If you’ve been watching the Blue Jays before the 2012 season then you know Ricky is more than capable of being a 5th starter.
J.A. Happ seemed to be great during his time with the Blue Jays last season. I say seemed because it’s hard to say if he really looked great or if it just looked that way because the rest of the rotation was bad practically every game. Either way Happ can handle the role of 5th starter. He’s also looked much better than Ricky this spring training, again for whatever that’s worth.
The reason Happ’s not the Blue Jays 5th starter is that to most people, most importantly Blue Jays management Happ’s spring training performance and his 2 months with the Blue Jays don’t overshadow Ricky Romero’s career before 2012. If you’re a believer in the “what have you done for me lately” argument then it’s understandable that Happ would be your choice.
Then again there’s no debate that Ricky at his best is better than Happ at his best so the Blue Jays starting the season with Ricky is easily a risk worth taking.
If Ricky does show he shouldn’t be the 5th starter there’s always the possibility he could work through his problems properly in the minor leagues. If Ricky did get his act together in the minor leagues and became ready for a call up it would be like the Blue Jays acquiring a mid-rotation starter during the season.