The Jays– or some reasonable-ish facsimilie– return to Lakeland today to take on the Detroit Tigers. They bring Ricky Romero with them to take the hill, as he hopes to build on what little success he’s had so far this spring, and silence the doubters, the din among whom has grown as camp has progressed and Romero has looked more and more like his disatrous 2012 self.

Of course, it’s still only March 15th, but that doesn’t mean people are going to be quiet about it if he looks off again.


Wilner tweets that “Brad Lincoln has a bit of a tender shoulder, which is why we haven’t seen him on the mound lately. Should be back next week.”

Uh… part way through the bottom half of the first and I think I have an idea of what we’re going to talk about after this on. Throw some strikes, Ricky!

Interesting, though, is that Romero seems to be throwing a different curve than we’re used to, in particular to left-hander Prince Fielder. “The big deuce,” as Dirk Hayhurst calls it. The speculation on the broadcast is that maybe he’s tinkering with making this a weapon against lefties, which could help with his ugly reverse split issue. Interesting.

TV: None, but, of course, you can listen to the game online for free via

Toronto Blue Jays

A. Gose RF
E. Bonifacio 2B
R. Davis LF
C. Rasmus CF
A. LaRoche 3B
L. Jimenez 1B
D. Schrempf PF
M. Nickeas C
L. Zawadzki SS

R. Romero LHP

Detroit Tigers

A. Jackson CF
T. Hunter RF
M. Cabrera 3B
P. Fielder 1B
V. Martinez DH
J. Kobernus LF
J. Peralta SS
B. Pena C
O. Inflated 2B

R. Porcello RHP

Comments (89)

  1. DUMB COMMENTS ALSO FORTHCOMING! Let me be the first.

  2. 7 straight balls from Romero. Season over!

  3. Detlef Schrempf, awesome!

  4. Looks like the Tigers think this is the World Series with the lineup they’ve got out there.

  5. Isn’t Schrempf more of a perimeter guy? I don’t think you want soft 50+ year old Europeans banging underneath for rebounds.

  6. O. Inflated 2B

  7. It is still early, but if Ricky looks exactly the same as he did last year why would that suggest that this year will be any different for him. And if it isn’t any different then perhaps his career is in jeopardy unless he can turn it around in Buffalo at some point. Scary times for Ricky!

  8. well… this is going well…

  9. If Romero is still walking a ton of guys by the end of spring training, why would it be so horrible to try and straighten him out in Buffalo?

    Every MLB game is important this year. If Romero needs to work on things, he should do it in the minors like Snider, Lind & Encarnacion.

    Keeping him on the MLB roster if he continues to have control problems is the definition of insanity.

    • +1, fully agree. He needs to get back his control and rebuild his confidence. Better to do that in Buffalo than under the spotlight in TO and costing us games.

      • I read he somehow still has an option left. If he doesn’t get some control back by the end of spring seems like a no brainer to me.

  10. People can say: ‘it’s early’ all they want but this team can’t afford to piss away a game every 5 days. That’s just not going to fly in what should be a super tight division.

    Things really are looking dire for Romero at this point.

    • ya know, it’s still early at this point and everything, and ya know, I’m just trying to get my work in, and work on stuff, and everything like that, ya know I’m not panicking or anything, cause, ya know, it’s still early and everything, I felt good out there today, I thought I made some good pitches, ya know, my arm felt good, so ya know, I’m just gonna keep working, and trying to get, ya know, into game shape, and ahhhhh ya know, just be ready for when, ya know, the season rolls around.

    • When asked about the importance of spring stats during his chat this week, Keith Law said (obviously) that they are worthless, but did say that spring is useful for identifying guys who are having a lot of trouble throwing strikes. I thought immediately of our friend Ricky.

      While it’s too early to worry about stats, it’s not too early to worry about a guy whose mechanics seem completely out of whack.

  11. I can’t help but wonder what way the Jays Vegas odds would be affected if Romero was replaced by Happ…

    • Vegas doesn’t care about talent, Vegas cares about what is popular to bet on. If anything it will decrease their odds seeing as how Romero is a bigger name than Happ.

      • So we should be looking to bet on non-popular teams that are great, because no one cares about them and we can take the casino for all they’re worth!

  12. Never mind, struck out Miggy – HE’S BAAAAACK!

  13. Bautista seems to be getting a lot of days off this spring. probably nothing, but since he’s coming off the wrist injury it’s not the first time i’ve thought it.

    • Like most stars on most teams, I think it’s only a matter of sparing Bautista long bus rides. Not playing in a ST game doesn’t mean you’re having a day off. He’s most probably training at the team’s complex in Dunedin, taking live pitching batting practice with some pitchers who didn’t make the trip to Lakeland, or watching video, etc. There’s plenty he can do without playing with a bunch of AAA guys in Lakeland.

  14. emotional roller coasters

  15. Just start the year off with Happ and let Romero rot in Buffalo.

  16. Man, we give rope to some guys and not others lol, love it, we should all be managers.

    • No, everyone has been given a sufficient amount of rope. The problem is that this division could come down to the wire. If Romero is posting that superb 5+ ERA at the end of the year and the Jays miss the playoffs by two games, you aren’t going to be upset? AA has burned a lot of “goodwill capital” on his big trades and increasing the payroll dramatically. I would hope he’s not going to risk all of that because he doesn’t want to hurt Romero’s feelings. The extension money for JJ could be riding on it.

      Romero needs to sit in the minors until he can throw strikes again. Period.

      • so the fact that he was 4 SOs today in 3IP doesn’t mean anything?

        wait it doesn’t


      • For fuck sakes, jesuscristo, just stop. Making the team in April doesn’t mean finishing with the team in September. He won’t last long posting a 5+ ERA.

        • Please keep posting Stoet, i need some common sence back up it seems.

        • Really? It appears to me that Adam Lind is still in the starting line-up after how many years of sucking?

          • cause the Jays were just stacked with options to replace him weren’t they, less we forget, this team sucked the last couple years, and the even DFA because of how last year was going, so lets just fuck off shall we.

          • Adam Lind is your example? The Jays sent him to the minors last year which is proof that they’ll send people down who are struggling.

    • 4K in 3IP today…

  17. Changing topics but sticking with rope, we all know Lind and RR don’t have much left, but how about fuckin’ Rasmus? He is having a shitty spring. And had a bad 2012. Here’s the spin on Espn:

    Spin: It’s certainly a tiny sample size, and spring games don’t really matter, but it should be noted that Anthony Gose is batting .367 and leads or is tied for the team lead in runs (nine), hits (11) and walks (five). Gose is destined to be shipped down to start the season in triple-A Buffalo because Rasmus is blocking his path to the centerfield job in Toronto. Rasmus hasn’t shown much since coming to Toronto to prove that he’s a better player than Gose, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Gose gets called up and sees some starts in centerfield if Rasmus really struggles out of the gate in 2013. There’s still some upside here with Rasmus, and he’s going pretty cheap on draft day, but don’t be afraid to pull the plug if he underperforms once again.

    • ugh….

    • Gose is not facing major leavue breaking balls regularly yet. Nobody is trying to get him personally out in the sense that they arent studying gamefilm before every game and have a plan for every batter. Pitchers are just going up there and throwing, trying to see what works, and working on pitches they want to improve. Lots of stretching out fastballs. Thats why ST stats dont matter, because people arent playing the game they will be come April.

      100% if Gose starts the season hes going to continue striking out at his 20%+. He needs to work on his plate discipline on Vegas. With this lineup and Rasmus still good defense, even if he sucks hes not going to sink the team.

      • If Rasmus sucks and so does gose maybe they trade at the dealine for another bat

        • Maybe, they do have depth on the bench, more likely seeing as we have very little left to trade with, is he becomes a late bench LH Bat. and you see Davis or Boni playing CF IMO

      • And there trying to get Rasmus out right and thats why he stinks so far?

  18. Just wait until Happ posts subpar sprig numbers and everyone jays put Ricky back in that role

    • Hear ya

      you mean like a 4.79 ERA or a 5.35 ERA?
      Cause we all know, or at least Happ lovers seem to think hes God and would never have an ERA Much higher then 3… I right??

      i hate my own face right now

  19. So, 3 more spring starts for RR.
    Time to get your shit correct son.

    • he wasn’t that bad today at least from what I could tell, the 2 walks early sucked, but he turned it around, and finished strong, and 3 ERs vs that line up in ST when your still working on shit, nothing wrong with that IMO.

      3 ST starts and a bunch of ML Starts….son

      • He threw 32 strikes & 30 balls. Listening to it on the radio, it did not sound incredibly promising to me. It did get slightly better…but by no means was he sharp.

        And I want Ricky to make this team. I absolutely do. But certainly not if it’s to the detriment of the team’s success. If Ricky picks it up in these next few outings & is reasonably close to Happ’s level of performance, than I’m content to defer to Romero. But by the same token, RR was The Worst starter in MLB last year. He was truly fucking abysmal. He’s got to straighten himself out sooner rather than later.

        • for sure, not saying he needs 32 starts like last years starts, but people just need to calm down and realize that Ricky has shown he can be the better of the two. AA and CO are just hoping, like we all are, that 2013 is somewhere close to 2011 or even 2010 Ricky.

  20. oh fuck…..bush just gave up a bomb that turned into a triple…..someone call the cops cause someone stole his control……cut his ass, go buy another arm, hes done forever….

    oh wait, we dont care how he does in ST….do we.

    • No we literally just don’t care about Dave Bush.

      • Speak for yourself Beepy.

        I have a lot invested in him making the team. I’ve got my Dickey jersey all ready to go, my boy has a Johnson jersey, and I think it would be a nice touch for the Mrs. to have her own Bush jersey. A happy Jays family. Woot!

        Classless? Perhaps. But tell me you wouldnt laugh a little seeing a family like this walking about the Skydome.

  21. Isnt it sorta obvious that Romero is tinkering with crap so that come the season, he’ll have a complete pitching arsenal and will actually start being ok? I really don’t think pitching 3 inings at a time while he’s tinkering with his mechanics is gonna instantly prove that Romero sucks deep and should be scratched.

    For Happ I get the impression he is pitching at his hardest for a spot in the rotation and is not really tinkering with mechanics, so he isnt going to improve much more then he’s projected to be.

    Consider that Dickey has sucked during spring, but brought his A-game in his last start against the DR.

    Spring stats don’t really matter.

  22. Did you guys See Jose B only has a .342 OBP right now…..maybe hes not healthy, maybe he still hurt, what the fuck are we going to do, he better fix that shit right now and start jacking it yard everytime up or our Season is over…..

    Do I need more examples of how redonkulous (Yes Reyes pun) this all sounds when you replace the name?

  23. If the Jays had drafted J.A. Happ and he was pitching here his entire career, and Toronto traded for/signed Romero this offseason, everyone would be salivating at the prospect of Romero returning to his old (2011) self and demanding that J.A. Happ be sent to Buffalo.

  24. Ok 1 more lol

    Dickey has a 9.00 ERA……does he have any options left so we can get that always in the CY Young Race Happ up here right away to be the opening day starter over Dickey, cause fuck, every win counts, if we dont get 140-150 wins, ill shit myself this year.

    • Your numerous examples continue to miss the point.

      The qualitative data on a pitcher (i.e. walk issues, lost velocity, mechanics etc) in spring training can be useful.

      If Romero is still throwing a high percentage of balls by the end of spring training, which was a gigantic issue last year, it absolutely is something that should be considered when deciding the 5th starter.

      • You bring up a good point and state by the end of spring.

        However it seems a lot of people are crying for Romero to be cut from day one.

        Not exactly the smartest thing to do.

        • @Revolu

          Obviously wanting Romero to be demoted immediately in favour of Happ is shortsighted.

          But if Romero is still struggling at the end of the spring it should at least be a conversation for the front office. After all, the most recent (qualitative) data would come from spring training.

          Romero’s spring ERA is worthless. But if he continues to throw balls at a high percentage in spring training I don’t think he should be bulletproof.

      • I dont think so as my point was to show how redonkulous it is to go on about stats in ST.

        I do however agree with you in the fact that if he is still pitching high % of balls, then yes, ill worry then. But remember, Mark B is walking just as many right now….so ya know….ST stats mean shit.

        • @Coach LB

          MB didn’t pitch like garbage last year so he has to look completely lost in spring training for it to mean anything.

          I think most people who post on here agree that Romero gets some but not a lot of rope. If he continues to struggle with the walks I don’t see why starting in AAA would be a bad option. It doesn’t mean he has to be there for very long.

          And, quite frankly, he probably would have been sent to the minors or the bullpen last year if the starters didn’t all get injured.

          • but see right there is my point…..we are judging ricky on last year while looking at stats that mean nothing…..not this year, which hasn’t started yet……but like i said, im with you, if it keeps up after spring, then ill worry.

            And no doubt, he should have been sent down last year.

            • But I’m not judging Romero based on his ERA, for example,

              Sure, ball percentage or walk percentage are stats but I assume that’s not what you are talking about.

              Far be it for me to agree with JesusCristo, but IF Romero is still struggling mightly with the walks by the end of spring training, he should be sent to the minors until he throws more strikes.

              It’s the middle of spring so the “I’m working on stuff” is still valid. But the last couple of spring training starts pitchers should be pretty close to where they want to be for the start of the year in terms of velocity, strike percentage etc.

              • Im not talking about stats at all here, im talking against them

                I have said that yes, if he continues to pitch like last year at the start of the REGULAR season, then send him down. But its just not going to happen before April 2nd like some people seem to think, want, demand.

                He can pitch in Philly a couple days before the season, and only throw two different pitches for all I give a fuck if thats what he wants to work on that day.


                He does need to come on in April – AND May if he wants to keep his Job.

                • “He can pitch in Philly a couple days before the season, and only throw two different pitches for all I give a fuck if thats what he wants to work on that day.”

                  Pitchers capable of throwing more than two different pitches should be throwing more than two different pitches in their final spring training start.

                  As the season gets closer, a pitcher’s approach becomes closer to what it will be in his first regular season start.

                  And if he is still having issues throwing strikes he should work them out in the minors. Wasting 5 or so regular season starts to see if Romero can do something he couldn’t at the end of spring training is poor management.

                  Time will tell.

                  • Holy God, I’m posting in support of the opinions of Jays2010..

                    Just illustrating how incredibly far off base you are here, LB. When people say Spring stats don’t matter they are saying don’t judge a team by its WL record, or look at starters ERA or hitters’ batting averages; they are not saying that everything that happens in ST is magical fairy land with literally no correlation to what happens in season.

                    Ricky is having a lot of trouble with his control. That is a non-statistical issue that has cropped up in Spring Training. It is premature to call for his head on a AAA Pike, but implying that the entire comment section is ignorant for worrying about what are very obvious issues is well.. ignorant.

  25. Loving that Wilner and Hayhurst are talking about the silliness of the “closer”.

  26. Happs numbers last year were not that great.

    I am worried about Bautista, he seems frustrated and flies off the handle every chance he gets, maybe his wrist is not %100 percent (I heard it looks like shit).

    However, this team will not sink on a bad year from RR. Or Jose. Or even Lind and Colby. But if they ALL have bad years and the injury bug bites…. I can see us all making excuses come August.

  27. Even if Rickey has a shitty early-season – don’t forget, we’ve got an offense on this team too. All they have to do is generate ONE more run than the other team, and all is forgiven. Pitching shitty and WINNING is one thing….pitching shitty and LOSING is another entirely – at least to the fanboys and media. Winning will get you a bit more rope….that is, if Lind hasn’t cornered the world-wide monopoly on rope.

    • I agree to a point. Romero is only the 5th starter, so there’s no reason to expect him to pitch like a #2. However, since he posted a rWAR of 6.2 in 2011 (albeit with a .242 BABIP), there’s equally no reason as a fan to just shrug your shoulders as he continues to walk nearly as many batters as he strikes out.

      At the risk of sounding like Buck Martinez, a pitcher needs to keep their team in the game, and Romero simply hasn’t done that as of late. He also was a big reason why the bullpen was used more than a cheap whore; he couldn’t last more than 3 innings.

      It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re not going to survive as a MLB pitcher if you continue having an .820 opponents OPS.

  28. Oh, absolutely. Agreed.
    So, it begs the question – are we asking RR to pitch like the potential CYoung candidate of 2 years ago…or are we will willing to accept your average #5 starter numbers? Will we have a shit-fit every time he doesn’t go 7-strong, with 10 whiffs and a 3.00 ERA? Or will we be happy if he just doesn’t stink up the joint?
    My point was that given this team’s potential offensive capability and a bullpen that looks not-too-shitty….management might be more inclined to give him a bit more rope than yer average Joe Nobody #5 starter (much to Happ’s displeasure)
    But I hope the guy finds whatever he needs and gets back on track. A number 5 guy that could rack up over 10 wins would be awesome.

    • Honestly no one has a problem with Ricky if he doesn’t make it worth it to track his WIP separate from his HIP.

      If he doesn’t walk the yard no one will whine about ERA or Ks from a groundball changeup artist; acting like he either has to be an ace or go into the minors is only the extreme. You’re allowed to worry that one of your starters – any of them from 1 to 7 – are going to come out and walk the better half of a lineup once a game. Its legitimate and defensible to sit in the middle on this one.

      Not one Jays fan wants 2012 Romero to come back. That’s not the same as saying he needs to return to punishing his peripherals with unsustainable greatness.

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