As previously mentioned, Spring Training is mostly about figuring out starters for positional battles and warming up for the start of the regular season. That’s why Ricky Romero‘s shaky starts in late February and early March did not signal the end of the world for him. However, after trying to change his pitching mechanics that had him pitching closer to the middle of the rubber Ricky Romero had another poor start, this time in the Jays’ minor league complex.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) March 21, 2013
While Anthopoulos said there are “no plans to make changes to the rotation” (without first talking to the higher ups), all and all Ricky Romero looks to be on his way out of the 25 man roster. Combining the official stats and today’s line, Romero’s Spring Training line looks like this:
Ricky Romero: 11IP, 16 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 4 HR, 12 BB, 6 K, 9.00 ERA, 2.55 WHIP, 13.1 H/9, 9.8 BB/9, 3.3 HR/9, 4.9 K/9
Those are some god awful numbers when you consider that he’s been pitching against AAA-AAAA level talent. I mean, there have been instance of pitchers having inflated ERA’s and low strikeout numbers in Spring Training baseball (Roy Halladay comes to mind, often working with 1-2 pitches exclusively early on), but when you’re throwing twice as many walks as strikeouts, albeit in a small sample size of 11 innings, it’s evident something is wrong with Ricky Romero’s ability to pitch.
Combine this with the fact that Anthopoulos will be speaking with the front office about Ricky Romero’s poor performance, it looks like the writing might be on the wall for the former staff ace. With J.A. Happ‘s insistence that he is a major league starter, he might be given the go-ahead and stay with the Blue Jays as their fifth starter. Doing so would allow Ricky Romero to go down to a minor league team (he has the options), work on his pitching mechanics (something that does take time to correct/make work) and hopefully come back when he is either fully prepared or if the team needs him.
Nothing is official yet; this is merely speculation. However, if the Blue Jays want to keep a troubled pitcher in the majors to protect his feelings rather than make the tough move for the good of the team it would be a dire mistake. Happ has done well in Spring Training and looks ready to go, and with 12 days until the Blue Jays’ Opening Day the time is now to make the tough decisions.