Blue Jays: Ricky Romero still trying to make a MLB comeback
Former Blue Jays’ ace Ricky Romero hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013, but hasn’t given up hope of making a MLB return in 2018.
Back in 2011, it looked like the Blue Jays had one of the best left-handed starters in the game in Ricky Romero. The L.A. native went 15-11 that season with a 2.92 ERA in 225 innings, leading an inexperienced rotation and making his first and only All-Star appearance.
That season definitely represented the highlight of Romero’s career, as his ERA rose to 5.77 in 2012, and he made only a handful of appearances in 2013 before being relegated to Triple A. For Blue Jays fans, the sad tale of Romero’s unexpected regression is far from forgotten, even if his place in the big leagues is a distant memory.
Fast forward to today, and Romero is trying to change the way his career ended and remains hopeful that he can work his way back to a big league job. He’s now 33 years old. and according to a great piece by Blake Murphy of Vice Sports, he has lofty goals for a new year, which include doing whatever it takes to prove that he’s still got the talent for a Major League job.
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According to Murphy’s article, Romero has nearly been at the point of giving up on baseball altogether in recent months, but has a new found excitement for the game and a belief in his own abilities. He was last seen in the San Francisco Giants system from 2015-2017, but couldn’t earn his way to their rotation despite injuries to guys like Madison Bumgarner.
He also tried his hand in the Mexican Leagues, but ended up coming home to his family, deciding that the opportunity there wasn’t worth being away from home. He told Murphy in the Vice article that it was then that he briefly considered walking away from the game, but a casual game of catch changed his attitude about hanging up his glove his good.
"“After taking a week to soul-search, Romero went out to casually play catch. He excitedly returned home saying he couldn’t retire—the feeling of the ball coming out of his hand was too exhilarating to walk away from at age 33.”"
It’s hard to say what lies ahead for the former Blue Jays’ ace, but you can’t help but cheer for him and hope he’ll find an opportunity somewhere. Murphy’s article also mentions talk of Romero working with Rafael Arroyo, who helped Oliver Perez transform and extend his career as a left-handed specialist, something Romero could explore as well.
From 2019-2013, the former first round pick was 51-45 with a 4.16 ERA in 127 starts and 801.1 innings pitched. It’s hard to say how much interest there might be among big league front offices, but as a potential lefty specialist it’s not hard to envision him getting at least a MiLB contract.