For one the Toronto Blue Jays we all know and love or tolerate would have kept the struggling Ricky Romero in the big league rotation. But this is the post Alex Anthopoulos rebuilding era where we apparently don’t tolerate that type of nonsense around here.
It was also shocking because Ricky’s going all the way to Class A Dunedin. Until you realize he’s already in Florida for Spring Training so he won’t have to go far. It’s also easier to work in Florida because of the warm weather than it would be to work in Buffalo (where the Jays Triple A team is).
Naturally Blue Jays fans have said and will continue to say “Halladay was sent to Class A and look how he turned out!” Unlike Romero Doc wasn’t an established starting pitcher at the time. Fortunately Doc had to change everything while Romero just has specific things he needs to work on.
For a long time Ricky Romero was the only starting pitcher on the Blue Jays worth watching so from a sentimental standpoint it’s hard to see him not be a part of what will hopefully be a competitive team, at least for how long it takes for him to get his act together. It’s especially hard to cope with since he was the Jays opening day starter for 2 straight seasons. It’s crazy to think now but going into 2012 he was the 2nd most reliable player the Jays had besides Jose Bautista.
Ricky wasn’t exactly going to have the right opponent for his first start of the season either. It was going to be against the Boston Redsox, a team that has pummeled him his entire career. If Ricky got lit up against the Redsox would anyone really be able to tell if it’s still 2012 Ricky or if it was just him struggling against the team he always struggles against.
As assumed by everyone when news broke that Ricky was starting the season in the minors J.A. Happ will be the Jays 5th starter. He should make a good 5th starter based on his time with the Jays last season and his Spring Training performance. Let’s just not pretend that we’d rather have 2012 Happ than pre-2012 Ricky because that’s just not true.
No one seems to be talking about how the Blue Jays acquisition of R.A. Dickey has gone from being a big pick up to a massive pick up. Without Dickey the Blue Jays would have either had a rotation with the ghost of Romero and Happ or they would have sent Ricky down anyways but would have replaced him with someone worse than Happ. Either scenario is something you can’t afford to do in the AL East.
Some fans seem to think that we may never see Romero pitch for the Jays in the major leagues again. First off if they haven’t dumped Lind after all this time it’s doubtful that they would release Romero when they still owe him over 21 million. Expensive starting pitchers that get sent down to Class A after having a terrible season don’t have a lot of trade value either.
It’s a fair thought that Ricky could not play for the Jays in the majors again but he is just 28 years old and was a good starting pitcher as recently as 2011 so he’s still far from being done. It’s also easy to forget he did have great starts every now and then in 2012 so he might be more fixable than people want to believe. He might just never be given as much time to turn things around in the big leagues as he got this time.
Then there’s the issue of what if Happ or everyone in the rotation for that matter is having a good season if and when Ricky is ready to come back to the big leagues. Well that’s a question for another day.