RRthrowingstands

When Ricky Romero came out in his first start of the spring throwing sinkers, nobody had any idea that’s what he was doing. The team certainly didn’t announce it to the world, and I suspect would hardly have made mention of it had it not been for the questions raised by his sluggish velocity and imprecise command. Had the results been better the sinker experiment may still have come up in the course of the day’s reporting, but for lack of a better term, the way it was offered was as an excuse.

And, magical space daddy’s honest truth, at the time that was fine. Here’s what I wrote following the game, which I witnessed first-hand in Dunedin:

It’s hard not to, but I think it would be slightly cruel of me to put Ricky Romero’s effort on the day down in the “ugly” category, especially since it’s still damn February, and his struggles are supposedly due to the fact that he was trying to throw sinkers– a pitch he went away from considerably in 2012, as Brandon Morrow supposedly pointed out to him, via Brooks Baseball. Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe and Mail says as much in his piece on the lacklustre outing, though the Globe’s own Jeff Blair gives a slightly different take, seeming as though he’s trying to pull back from the edge of sounding too many alarms, but evoking 2012 Brett Cecil and the “it’s early, everything is fine” song and dance that went along with his spring struggles a year ago. Of course, it is too early to portend doom for anybody, but rather than divert us from a simple sub-par outing, my sense is that the flimsy excuse-making coming from the Jays probably makes us focus undue attention on a relatively meaningless spring debut. Because, I tell you what, I was sitting directly pretty behind the plate, and if Romero was throwing sinkers all day, by the end they sure as shit weren’t sinking– they weren’t real close to the strike zone either, from my vantage. I can buy that explanation for the lack of velocity for now, but for me it’s certainly going to put more scrutiny on his next outing, not less. Though I guess that was inevitable anyway.

Since then things haven’t exactly gotten back on track. The comparisons to Cecil’s from-sure-thing-to-New-Hampshire spring disasterfuck haven’t exactly faded– I half expect Romero to be shielded from an upcoming regular season opponent in one of his final starts, and scurried away to the minor league complex, far from the prying eyes of reporters (in fact, according to the latest schedule at North Of The Border, Romero won’t take the bus tomorrow to face Tampa, but will instead work in a minor league game, though at least reporters know about it)– and the post hoc excuse-making the club was able to skate by on in late February would now taste about as satisfying now as turd punch.

That brings us to this week’s sudden revelation that in his next start Romero will be trying to not throw quite as much across his body as he did back on February 26th, when I snapped the pic above. He’ll also shift a bit towards third base on the rubber, as Drew rather astutely recommended at Getting Blanked at the end of last week.

It seems a bit late in the damn process to make such a change, minor as the club insists it is, but given his results so far it’s not terribly difficult to see why they might do it. It does, however, make one wonder a bit about what’s potentially being signalled by the switch.

One rather simple reason to do it, as Stephen Brunt and Buck Martinez pointed out in a conversation on the Fan 590 this week that also included Bob McCown, is that giving Romero some minor-ish mechanical changes to apply lets him channel his energy toward something more constructive than just the vague idea that he has to somehow just “be better.” At least, those were their words. I’m not sure I’d agree that what ails Ricky is quite so elusive. He could start by… I don’t know… throwing strikes, especially early in counts.

For two, if you’ll pardon my cynicism, now he’s got a built-in excuse if the next outing goes as poorly as some of the previous ones have.

I certainly wouldn’t suggest that’s what they’re banking on with the changes– in his piece Drew makes some damn fine sense on why a move towards the third base side of the rubber might genuinely help Romero– but it’s interesting, and seemingly rather savvy, that they’ve given their $31-million one-time ace a bit of artificial breathing space here as camp starts winding down. Can’t you just see it already? “He felt good with the changes we’ve been working on. Even if the results weren’t there yet, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but it’s truly for the best.”

Again, that doesn’t mean it’s not a genuine attempt to get him to a better place, but that the scrutiny of his next performance or two can only be stifled by this openness about the changes seems pretty clear. The other side of that coin, however, is that this late, somewhat desperate change in mechanics is a fairly strong signal that maybe something isn’t just “not quite working yet,” but is a genuine and deep problem, likely dating back to Romero’s disastrous 2012. And what’s especially odd– perhaps illuminating, perhaps flat out frightening– about letting it be known that he’s trying something new is, why say anything at all? Why not do what you did before, when he came out of the gate and, to everyone’s surprise, threw mostly sinkers? Why not wait and see if the changes produce better results, in the hope that the excuse-making won’t even be necessary?

I’m not saying I’d prefer the club to be deceptive– “it’s not a lie if we know the truth” and all that old noise– but if the only good that will come from making it known that these changes are taking place is that it will make it easier to excuse another poor performance, what does it say about the organization’s belief that Romero is going to pitch well? And what does it say about their continued insistence that he’s going north with this club, come hell or high water?

Maybe I’m missing something here. Or maybe this all came about a whole lot more innocuously than my cynical brain can comprehend, but the more my mind has been churning on it, the more I’ve felt like it might actually be possible for J.A. Happ to win a rotation spot before all is said and done.

Am I crazy? Probably. And hopefully this is all rendered moot after Ricky goes out tomorrow and actually finds where the plate is, it’s just… yeah, we should be so lucky.

Comments (121)

  1. Romero should be starting in AAA while he works things out. End of story.

    • Or move him to the bullpen

    • No, he should be starting in Spring Training until they have to make a decision on who to go north with.

    • … make that “Romero should be starting in Single A or Double A and I would agree. The Jays have mishandled this from about Aug.1 ’12 on. Romero should have been sent to AAA last season, when it was plainly apparent he had lost all confidence, to work on mechanics, but more importantly, to regain his confidence. Watching him struggle, short-arming pitches in an almost fearful approach to pitching, was painful.
      Now the only way I see for him to get back to a major league level is the Doc Halladay model… start from scratch, or something close to it, with ONE person coaching him (his mind has to be cluttered with all of the advice he is getting from various coaches and players being quoted in the media), and rebuilding his mechanics AND mental approach into something simple and repeatable.
      With the expectations on this team, and the availability of JA Happ, who is clearly the better solution RIGHT NOW for the 5th slot, the Toronto is not the place for him to recover.

      • Seriously?

        • C’mon… you didn’t cringe every time he threw a 60′ looping curve in Aug/Sept last year??? … you didn’t wonder where this guy’s “challenge the batters with strikes” MO went? If this was still Feb. and they were dicking with significant changes to his mechanics, that’s one thing, but Opening Day is not that far away, and apparently surgery was not the solution to last year’s problems.

          • lol
            if this was February its fine, but its march goddammit!!!!!

            • … last time the Jays asked a starter to make a major change to his stride in order to correct an inability to throw strikes (sound familiar – Kyle Drabek being asked to stop throwing “across his body, and point his plant foot directly towards home plate) he blew out his elbow. At that point, Drabek was probably willing to throw left-handed if it meant staying in the show. All I am saying is that if they are thinking short-term, Happ is the better solution right now. If they are thinking long -term, there would be a helluva lot less pressure on Romero to “find himself”, mentally and physically, if he were well away from the media spotlight. Toronto is the worst place for him to struggle, what with 3 major daily newspapers, 2 dedicated TV/Radio sports networks, and the pressure of the expectations placed on this team. Worked out pretty good for Doc, going way down (A ball) after blowing everyone away early in his career.

              • this is what’s wrong with guys like you.
                oh he has to make a change?
                he’s definitely not going to be Cliff Lee, or something similar to what he’s been, he’s definitely going to be an injury prone disaster.
                yep, no doubt about it.

              • Selective memory Greg?
                Send RR down to the minors when you just lost 3 starters to injury?
                Where were you going to find the body to replace him?Lansing?
                Stop comparing RR or anybody else to Halladay.Two totally different senerios.Give your head a shake and stop panicing
                The Drabek thing is pretty out there.

                • Bang on Radar. Bang fucking on.

                  • By which I mean I completely agree with you. Not keep banging on some kind of drum. Unless you are a drummer, in which case, bang on at that too.

                • If the Jays had not lost 3 SP in 2012, the Jays 100% should have (and hopefully would have) sent Romero to the minor leagues. He was arguably the worst qualified starter in the MLB last year, though a couple others definitely make their case for demotion as, or more quickly.

                  I doubt Romero even starts the 2013 year with the team. He is truly looking that bad, continued from his 30 brutal starts in 2012. There is no reason to give him until mid – may, he had many starts last year to “find himself”. Send him to extended spring training, put him on the DL, and if someone else gets injured, re-instate him. If he is still playing poorly after a stint in extended, option him to AAA. Why look back? The only attachment to ricky romero is Alex Anthoplous and the contract the two signed.

                  In all honesty, this is AA’s true test as to where is priorities lie with the team.

                  Trading Hill? Easy call. Wells? Done. Halladay? No problem. Sending Romero to the minors on a contract AA signed? Good test.

    • +1.

      Agreed.

  2. I wish I had the answers for ya, Ricky

    I see pain in those eyes.

  3. I would like nothing better than for Rickey to go out and pitch 75 pitches worth of three hit ball with one walk, then go on the mic with sportsnet and tell everyone to fuck off.

  4. It remains unfathomable to me that just one year ago, I was optimistic about a rotation that had Joel Carreno sliding in to replace Brett Cecil. What a luxury to have Happ waiting in the wings.

    One problem the organization might have with starting Romero in the minors is that if they do that there’s a good chance they can’t bring him back up until there’s an injury. If Happ is anything resembling a league average pitcher how do they justify replacing him with Romero who has faced minor leaguers all year? Would you trust Romero to better Happ without seeing results in major league regular season games first?

    It’s a much easier situation for the organization if they give Ricky a small amount of rope and Romero pitches himself out of the rotation in a few regular season major league games first, with a roll of the dice that he somehow figures it all out in the meantime.

  5. There has been lots of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the club heading in to this 2013 campaign, but if Romero continues to struggle and Buehrle suddenly starts showing the effects of a guy who has pitched 200 innings 12 straight years and Dickey suddenly becomes the pitcher he was for 80% of his career, this thing could go up in smoke fast. I can’t foresee a scenario where the offence tanks. Maybe they’d have to win lots of 12 – 11 games. I hope not.

    • I don’t know, a meteor could hit the team bus and there goes the offence too.

      • Okay, I get your point. Not to be extreme in the negativity category, but I’m concerned for Romero and Buehrle. Unlike some on here, I don’t think the relievers have been that bad. Sometimes we only see the perceived shortcomings of the Blue Jays because we follow them so closely. One of those guys in Detroit (Pfister or Scherzer, I can’t remember which) has been getting his ass handed to him everytime he’s pitched this spring. I just hope Ricky isn’t another Jeremy Sowers. Sowers was the guy in Cleveland who was fantastic in 2007, fell off a cliff and has never been heard from again.

        • Buerhle starts every spring training like this. why the fuck would you all of a sudden be worried about him .

      • Man, you need a button to like this comment. +1

  6. i think its more like, whatever, make changes, see if there’s some improvement. if not, then send him down to work over a longer timespan to fix what’s going wrong.

    next: pitching in general

    starting to think we’ve got problems. Johnson’s looking ok. but uh…other than that…its looking like a shit show so far. that goes for starters and relievers.

    i’m starting to get a very bad feeling about our pitching….

    • For fuck sakes.

    • lol seriously dude.

      morrow’s last start he said his slider was off… so what did he do, he kept throwing it, and throwing it until it did what he wanted it do to.

      pitchers work on things in spring training, they don’t pitch to get outs necessarily. So just chill the fuck out

    • The pitching is pretty good. It would be fucking stellar if we had 2011 Romero.

      • Actually if you check the 2011 ST stats, Ricky wasn’t that good. It was in the real games that he pitched like an all-star.

    • I can see al this negativity coming back when the Jays gone on a 3 game losing streak or get swept and some commenters come back to say “I told you so”.
      There will be players who under perform and some who will over perform,some will get injured and some may even get traded at the deadline.
      We are gonna have to deal with it .
      It’s part of the process,ups and downs.
      Step back from the ledge.

      • “wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, cut ties with all the lies you’ve been living in…..”

      • its the downfall of having a team with expectations.. the team has so many new ‘fans’ that are all of a sudden interested in criticizing.

  7. I believe that the chances of Ricky going North with the Jays is no better than 50-50 if he doesn’t show major improvements prior to end of spring.

    The Jays NEED a good Ricky and Happ is not the answer. You can not take spring stats at face value but in this case where 2012 was a year of wildness and ineffectiveness, and the spring is bearing the same results, then you need to judge on these merits.

    Lets not forget Ricky was anything but a control artist during his time in the minors. He came on like gangbusters and seemed to “figure it out” one spring and into the season. He was a revelation!

    This is really too bad .. his twitter account is silent, he is obviously filled with self doubt.

    Lets hope he can become a better than league avg pitcher again. I know this doom and gloom, but its not easy to FIND it again after this long of piss poor pitching.

    BB

    • What in the fuck have you been smoking?
      Crack is such a downer.

      • Ricky’s been terrible for 1 year + .. he was one of the 5 worst pitchers in the league last year. I love him, the jays need him. There ain’t no crack smoking. This NEW change is proof that they know he is messed.

        But the odds are long that he can find himself quickly.

        BB

        • RR was injured last year,pitched through it.Got surgery in the off season.Is recovering.
          Isn’t back to where he should be.
          But you know he’s 50-50 to come north?
          Take a look at the #5 starter ERA and WHIP’s, on the WS champs or the AL champs.
          His twitter account is silent so he’s filled with self doubt?
          That’s a helluva conclusion in light of the fact that atheltes in general are backing off from twitter,due to negative trolls.
          How long do you figure it should be for him to return to form?
          Sorry but your argument is full of holes.

          • that’s exactly what I said .. I KNOW he is 50-50 to come north .. .

            your processing skills are off the charts

            I don’t have an argument except ..

            1. The jays need him
            2. JA Happ is not the answer
            3. He has more troubles then arm issues
            4. The jays are doing what they can to “mix it up” and perhaps are accepting that he needs to figure it out somewhere besides Majors ..

            Maybe he is still hurt – Knee and shoulder – maybe he is back in bad habits from earlier in careers – perhaps he is a mental case – who knows – what I do know is he was putrid last year, he has not thrown strikes in the spring and the Jays need to figure out this situation

            BB

            • You don’t know anything, beeds.

              • I didn’t KNOW that I didn’t KNOW anything .. until now of course ..

                I do know Ricky stinks and he, we, they, you should be worried .. it ain’t easy to get back what he lost .. who cares why he lost it

                • I care why he lost it…..because “the more you know” makes it easier to correct it

                • Well now you know you don’t know.Quite a revelation.
                  It’s ST.
                  RR isn’t going to the minors until it’s determined he can’t pitch EFFECTIVLY in regular season games, likely to be a decision around mid May,IF he stinks.
                  He doesn’t need to pitch like Cy to retain his spot as the #5 guy.
                  I’m not worried, AA is monitoring the situation much more closely than you or I.
                  I trust his opinion.

        • moving a pitcher down the rubber and tweaking his delivery doesn’t scream we know exactly whats wrong.

          personally watching him and going back to watch videos of the earlier years. He generated a lot of his wind up from his bottom half, which he isn’t doing anymore. Its got to be an issue with his knees

          • Maybe they should put a set of garters on him and get him to breathe out of his eyelids…

          • I agree with DC. No one has talked about his knee all spring. The legs are such an important part of pitching. His non chalant attitude to the Platelet therapy really pissed me off earlier this spring also. Off season shoulder surgery ,pitching injured and all that could have been a result for his over compensation because his less than healthy knee. He says his knee isn’t bothering but I think he’s hiding it.

    • This was my favourite part: “his twitter account is silent, he is obviously filled with self doubt.”

    • Is that you Young Beedah?

  8. Maybe this is more for Ricky’s head than anything else. Sometimes when you’re struggling and have been for awhile, it feels good to be able to blame some small thing and be like…oooooh that was the problem, instead of just saying fuck i’m terrible

  9. trade him and the new team will clip is toe nails and suddenly he will be an ace again

  10. This kind of seems obvious to me, especially why the team would announce it.
    You question why a team would reveal it. AA is the silent assassin so this was calculated.

    My guess is that despite the “spring training is meaningless” he’s looked worse than the team hoped. Gibby says Happ’s pitched well and indicated he probably won’t be sent down. We do know that AA likes stocking inventory, so likely sending down one of Happ or Romero (guy with options) would be preferable to keeping both of them and losing a talented but risky arm in Jefferies.

    My guess is that if Ricky doesn’t get good results in the next couple of starts, the Jays send him down to New Hamp.
    The reason they announced the mechanical changes was for him to save face. Instead of shattering his confidence or making him look bad for sending him down because he sucks, they’ll say they’re sending him down because he needs to work on his new mechanics. IMHO

    I agree Ricky has earned some rope and I’d be ok with giving him 5 starts to prove himself, but I really believe the best thing for him and the team would be to send him to New Hampshire.

    • new hampshire?

    • New Hampshire?

      • why not, we’ve seen every other option thrown out there, lets just keep the redonkulous ideas flowing lol….

      • New Hampshire or even lower. Obviously not for long, but let him dominate a couple games in low minors, then move him up to the next level.

        Look, Romero is a different saga from a guy who needs some minor league work or seasoning. For a normal player (like Happ) sending him to AAA makes sense.

        But listen to everything that’s being said about Romero.

        There is something about his fragile confidence. So what do you think would help him more.
        a) Go to low minors to work on things for a couple of game. He should dominate because he clearly is way better than those levels. Build confidence, and realize that he has tremendous stuff. That would help get him to believe in himself. Then after dominating a few games send him to AAA or the show.
        b) Go to AAA. There are some really good hitters down there that would be in the majors if their defence was any good. So the risk here would be sending him to AAA and watch good hitters knock him around and absolutely destroy whatever confidence he has left.

        Who knows. I can’t figure this out at all.

      • Oh, and especially since he has got to work on his command and cut down the walks. So he’s got to work on his location and spotting his pitches.
        In low minors he can work on this without the fear of getting killed by good AAA hitters while he’s working on it and destroying his psyche to the point he never throws a strike again.

    • I’ve never met Romero so I have to go by what I read.
      If it’s a psychological thing, then it would be better to seed him to low minors and work up as he dominates, restoring his confidence along the way.
      For a guy with fragile confidence. having him fail for 5 starts in the majors, then sending him down to AAA where he could potentially fail there too is risky.

      • … plus if they come up with a plan to start him at A-ball, they can say it’s a rehab thing re his knees, and remove the stigma of being sent down from a guy who is obviously very proud, and at the same time mentally fragile.

  11. It will be too bad if he has to move to the other side of the rubber, because obviously he gets a way nastier angle from the first-base side, particularly against lefty hitters. I don’t think his problem is where he is on the rubber; I think it’s mostly psychological at this point. But maybe moving over on the rubber would help from a psychological standpoint if he can tell himself that that was the problem.

    In any event, I fear that one day soon we will be singing the Ballad of Ricky R., and the song will not have a happy ending.

    • He has reverse splits– lefties hit him well (remember Maddon turning his switch hitters to face him as LHBs?)– so I’m not sure that nasty angle is really a thing.

      • Hmmm, did not know the splits thing. Pitching from the first base side might have actually have helped the cutter against righties. But I clearly have to reconsider my theory.

  12. “… giving Romero some minor-ish mechanical changes to apply lets him channel his energy toward something more constructive than just the vague idea that he has to somehow just “be better.” At least, those were their words. I’m not sure I’d agree that what ails Ricky is quite so elusive. He could start by… I don’t know… throwing strikes, especially early in counts.”

    I wouldn’t say “throw strikes early” is any more constructive than saying “pitch better”, if at all. It’s pretty much just as vague. I think the point is that Ricky wants and is trying to throw better and more strikes, but can’t find his control. So this is one possible constructive way in trying to achieve better control.

  13. did kyle drabek leave his pitching strings around? maybe they can use those

  14. Going down to AAA wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing for Ricky. I seem to remember a pitcher by the name of Cliff Lee turning things around after a stint down there when he was with Cleveland.

    • im with you in a way…..i just hope that his issues aren’t head ones…..cause a trip down after being told hes the man less then a year ago, might make it worse….but who the fuck knows whats wrong with him, maybe this little change is what the doc ordered….maybe its his sugar pill so to speak.

      • … they can blame it on rehabbing his knee(s) – spin it to physical injury to relieve any perception that might make this embarassing

  15. If romero continues to suck and they put happ int he rotation, I hope nobody will get hurt. Because after happ the jays have virtually no starting pitching depth. Unless you like AAA studs like jenkins and germano.

    • if we can get threw June, there is depth there as guys start coming of the DL, maybe sooner. I think there are options now, not top lvl guys or anything, but guys that can get you closer to the end of the game.

      • It usually takes a while for pitchers to come back to full strength from tj surgery. Im not sure how effective guys like drabek and hutch are going to be even if they come back in june or july. Next year they’ll be better for sure.

    • Jenkins and Germano are studs? When did this happen?

  16. Anyone wonder if they are putting him in minor league games as a way to back date a 15 day DL trip? to give him more time to “work on things”

    I think we are all still left in the dark by all of this, they have been clear…..as the fog in the bay of fundy.

    I just want April 2nd to hurry the fuck up……and who ever ends up in the rotation ends up there, and who ever ends up in the BP ends up there, we are going to lose 50 plus games at least, but everyone seems to think that 32 starts by the 5th starter are so clearly the most important part of this team, that if we dont get results from that spot on April 6th we are fuckered……

    wooooooosaaaaaw
    wooooooosaaaaaw

  17. I’ll admit I didn’t read your piece Stoeten due to being crunched on time, so excuse if I’m off base, but why would Romero even think about changing his delivery? It’s the same one (I think) that he reached the Majors with, and the same one that enabled him to have a 6+ rWAR in 2011.

    It just sounds like Romero is going for broke, because he can’t seem to figure out his shit.

  18. When the news of his move on the rubber surfaced, I hunted around for any reference that would confirm my recollection that prior to his first season, Arnsberg’s magical fix for his minor league control problems was to move him on the rubber. I couldn’t find it, so it is possible I was dreaming this history up. I was wondering whether they would move him back to where he used to pitch from in the minors, or if he’d gotten away from the adjustment I remembered.

    In my research, I did find that some of the articles from 2009 talked about Arnsberg fixing or trying to fix his mechanics and get him less across his body and more direct to the plate.

    Stoeten, if you have the time and inclination, a post on the changes over time to Romero’s mechanics could be very interesting.

    My reaction to this latest news is it makes the insistence he will start the season on the big league team all the more confounding. But on the other hand, Walker is saying it is not a major overhaul, so maybe it is something that can reasonably be adjusted within 2 weeks and continued to be worked on during April?

  19. I don’t think Romero will get sent down regardless of what happens between now and opening day. But he might hit the DL with “right arm shittiness” and spend extra time in Florida

  20. Why would you send RR to NH? Why not send him to buffalo? Where AA and his henchmen can drive an hour and a half and watch every start he has.
    RR is my favorite BJ and will remain so even if he continues to struggle. Nonetheless I am think he should go down to the minors to figure it out with less pressure and scrutiny. Maybe give happ a few starts or wildcard. Give McGowan a start… I find it hard to believe McGowan if healthy is not a better gamble than hap

    • wha?

    • … having him where he is still under pressure to perform and all sorts of extreme scrutiny is exactly what you don’t want to do. Put him somewhere where the most anyone sees about him in the media is a 2-line blurb that says he is improving. In Buffalo, he would still be subjected to working on mechanics AND confidence with a pack of media tailing AA down the QEW ready to report on whether he has an EZ Pass, or goes through the regular lines. That was the one (and probably only) advantage of AAA in Vegas… guys could be sent to work on stuff out of the limelight.

  21. The bright side of all of this is that he could have another bad year and STILL do better than last year. Like he could have a 4.77 ERA and it would still be a full run better than last year. PLUS our offence should be better able to overcome his potential bad pitching.

    Point being, that it’s really all just upside potential over last year. AA basically replaced him once in Happ and then replaced him 3 more times with Dickey, Buehrle and Johnson..

    There is upside to Lawrie, Lind, Romero and Santos over last year.

  22. This guy is probably still looking for work and got along well with Gibbons IIRC:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090330&content_id=4089180&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb

    As I’ve been saying all winter, this isn’t the first time Romero has had control issues. The walks were one of the big reasons it took him so long to reach the majors in the first place. Remember, JPR drafted him as an advanced college pitcher who was supposed to move through the system quickly.

    Also, it’s fine to have pencilled Romero into the #5 slot. But I don’t see why AA & Gibbons were so adamant. Obviously if Ricky looks like he did in 2012 by the end of spring training he’s going to AAA. Ricky knows this as well.

    And maybe I’m not remembering things clearly; but I don’t remember AA & Farrell being so adamant about Cecil in the rotation last year. Obviously he was a frontrunner because only Morrow & Romero were locks. But I don’t believe Cecil was a fixture in the way that management is making it sound like Romero is.

    Still a little bit of time left to make these decisions, though.

  23. Something that just keeps bugging me about this picture.

    Why is he looking at the cameraperson when he should be concentrating?

    I feel like this is indicative of his overall problems. My hypothesis is that he reads DJF, and that so did Ms. America.

  24. Me thinks the best thing for Ricky might be to have the Jays disable him when the time to head north comes. The wonky knee would be a great excuse and would certainly be a face saving move by the club. Happ could move into the #5 slot as he deserves, Ricky could work on his problems and the new changes to his delivery without getting hammered, and the club could insist the universe is unfolding as it should.

    • “Happ could move into the #5 slot as he deserves”

      is that a real statement or are you just trying to be funny?

  25. so many GEDs

  26. Stoeten, just re-read and now understand your last few paragraphs and, man, you really can be a highly cynical dude!

    I don’t see why the club wouldn’t be open with the fact that they are working on mechanics. Everyone can see the guy struggling – the alternatives would be to say nothing, raising the question of what the club is doing about it, or to just say, “we’re working on some stuff”, which would raise the obvious question “what stuff”. The statements from the club do provide a bit of cover to continuing struggles, but it also lets Chicken Little (or maybe Happ) out of the coop, so it’s not a clear winning PR move for the Jays or Romero…

  27. Trade him! Trade him for Joey Votto. Straight up.
    Thats how professional sports work right? I can just pick two players and the teams can swap them? Thats how it worked in NHL ’93 on Super Nintendo …

    Wait, this isnt TSN …

    • Votto?
      He’s Canadian so we gotta get him.
      Still thought Romak woulda made it before Votto.
      I can be so wrong sometimes.

  28. I would still pit Ricky up against other 5th starters in the league, but only until his walk rate goes way up again this year. After that.. AAA maybe the wrong place for him, another team might be better.

    • so your saying put him up to start the year knowing that he is going to suck then trade him…..

      heres my question…..if he sucks? whos going to want him? Think we could trade him for DiceK?

      RR will be a part of the team this year, and even if he is only a little better then last year, he is needed to make an Oct Run. If he sucks again, he has options, send him down, but we aren’t giong to only use 6 pitchers this year, just can’t see it.

  29. All this analysis and concern over the team’s fifth starter! Give him a short leash, if Romero can’t work it out, then off to Buffalo and you bring in Happ. Now if Romero was the #1 or #2 starter, I’d be way more concerned but he’s in the five spot. Yes he has a sizeable contract and you don’t want to see those dollars languishing in triple A but they’re a sunk cost at this point and the Blue Jays have to think how best to manage the asset while not putting Rickey’s ego ahead of the big league team.

    • agreed 100%

    • he’s only in the 5 slot because of how he pitched last year.

      if he backed up 2011 with a strong 2012 he’d probably be our third starter.

      no one’s stressing about our ’5th spot’ we’re stressing about a player who is diminishing his value after every time he steps on the mound

  30. If this is real and not some smoke and mirrors “let’s invent an excuse for Ricky to be crappy next outing but keep him with the team anyways” then he ought to be optioned to Buff. and Happ should go north with the team. If their going to actually change something about his delivery I’d rather he do that in the minor leagues where team results don’t really matter. Unless someone wants to propose that some flaw in his pitching can be completely fixed in a couple of weeks I’d rather he continue to do it where the games don’t matter come April.

  31. Send the guy to Buffalo for f sakes, who cares if it will cringe his ego!? The guy doesn’t have one anymore.
    He is not confident and if he gets smashed by Boston and John Farwell that opening weekend game……..we might have a suicide on our hands.

  32. once again over 100 comments on our 5th starter.
    By my calculations, this makes 3,329 comments on Ricky since the start of spring training.

    What other team in baseball have fan blogs where so much is spoken about their fifth starter?

    Nice to have a team where this is a primary concern.

  33. I can fix him.

  34. Ricky is a headcase. He got paid and turned into a weirdo. Hes finished as a bluejay, at the very least.

  35. I think we all need to calm down. We are talking about our 5th starter. Beam back to last year, we had a ton of question marks. If this is the biggest concern heading into the year we are in good shape.

  36. A little off topic, but does anyone know when Hutch is due back?

  37. The man exactly who flows nothing at all is much better prepared as opposed to person who says just newspaper publishers.

  38. -Daniel Fitzgibbons, SG-1

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