Rookie Season: 29 games; 178.0 IP; 4.30 ERA; 141 strikeouts; 1.522 WHIP
Ricky Romero was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft at sixth overall. He would make his debut in 2009 as one of the club’s top pitching prospects and would put up pretty respectable numbers, trailing only Roy Halladay in terms of games started while holding his own against a tough AL East division that saw the New York Yankees win the World Series. He would pitch for five years with the Blue Jays, crafting a career 4.16 ERA with one all-star appearance before being sent to the minors in 2013, making only four appearances for the Blue Jays that year.
Romero has since retired from baseball after a few years trying to make it back to the major leagues outside of the Jays organization and a brief stint in the Mexican League.
After the great season Alek Manoah had, this article examines his rookie season compared to former Blue Jays pitchers, former prospects, and legends.
Crunching the Numbers
Comparison-wise, Manoah tops Romero in quite a few pitching categories such as ERA and WHIP but trailed in innings pitched and games started, mostly because the right-hander started his Blue Jays career in late May compared to the southpaw taking the mound in early April. Looking at some of the advanced pitching stats, Manoah also holds an edge over Romero in terms of K/9 (10.2 vs. 7.1) and BB/9 (3.2 vs. 4.0).
If Manoah had started the year with the Blue Jays at the beginning of April, he would have easily passed Romero in terms of strikeouts and would be nearing the left-hander in terms of innings pitched and games started. The Florida product does have the added benefit of starting his career with a pretty stellar supporting cast like Robbie Ray, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Steven Matz while Romero really only had Halladay, as the rest of the rotation paled in comparison with Brian Tallet and Scott Richmond the two best arms behind him in the rotation.