The Jays are in the lovely-sounding Port Charlotte today, taking on the Rays today for the last Spring Training match before Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Reyes are finally available to join their teammates in Jays uniforms. And with no Dominican WBC heroes– Mike Wilner tweets that the two will be back in the lineup tomorrow for the first time since late February– all eyes are… elsewhere actually. As back in Dunedin, Ricky Romero is putting his new mechanics to the test in a minor league game.

It won’t be in Cecil-like fashion, however, as the media is well aware of where Romero will be pitching, and I suspect are going to be there in full force.

OK, so maybe it’s not so much a suspicion and more that I asked. Still, though, obviously the updates on Ricky will be the things to watch.


Dirk Hayhurst writes at Sportsnet about the mechanical changes Romero is implementing, and why they’re just “yet another evolutionary step for Ricky as he tries to figure his way out of his old skin and into the new.” It’s most definitely, he says, not a good sign.

More cuts are still to come, but for now, Richard Griffin tweets that Lance Zawadzki, Ryan Langerhans and Andy LaRoche have been sent down to minor league camp.

“Brett Lawrie, recovering from rib-cage injury, fielded 20 ground balls directly at him and took some dry swings. Says he feels fine,” tweets John Lott.

Mike Cormack tweets tonight’s Prime Time Sports lineup, which includes chats with Josh Johnson, Darren Oliver, Jose Reyes, Marcus Stroman and Paul Beeston.

He adds that Beeston will be taking questions via Twitter (@BackstagePTS) and email (– so get on it!

Oh yeah, and some familiar names in the lineup for the Rays.

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

And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

A. Gose LF
J. Negrych 2B
J. Bautista RF
C. Rasmus CF
J. Thole DH
H. Blanco C
L. Jimenez 1B
E. Velez 3B
M. McCoy SS

C. Vargas RHP

Tampa Bay Rays

D. Jennings CF
M. Joyce LF
E. Longoria 3B
B. Zobrist RF
L. Scott DH
Y. Escobar SS
J. Loney 1B
J. Lobaton C
K. Johnson 2B

R. Hernandez (F. Carmona) RHP

Comments (61)

  1. Seriously can’t hurt can it?? I think placing Ricky Ruh-oh in AAA until he’s settled is a great plan, and if that comes under the guise of him needing to make ‘mechanical changes’ than so be it.

    • AAA in Buffaleasy is too close to the TO media hordes – FLA for extended Spring (under the guise of further rehab) or AA New Hampshire is what he needs (after all the Spring Training media travel expense accounts have been filed, no one will get approval to travel to the minors). What is happening today will happen as long as he is in the minors working on mechanics/confidence, that is, intense over-scrutiny of every time he flinches, when what he needs is time away from it all to figure everything out away from the scrutiny/media pressure.
      Romero is being over-reported because of the circumstances… up until last year, everyone figured he was the one locked-in starter (and a true #1) that the Jays had. To have lost it so suddenly and completely, all under the microscope of the TO media circus, is why no one will leave it alone.
      Give the guy a break, and let him rediscover the strike zone, his mechanics, and his confidence away from the constant pressure.

  2. LOL
    Awesome painting/photoshop
    Whats the over under on ricky going NA with anxiety issues?

    • What’s the latest on Brett Cecil?

      Will he be traded? He won’t clear waivers.

      • He’ll be on the team.

      • Jeffress gave three homers in a row yesterday, so I say Cecil’s chances improved a bit he stays.

      • AA has said out of options guys who won’t make the team will be eligible for trade (obviously).

        Wilner suggested, if healthy, Janssen, Oliver, Santos, Delabar, Rogers & Loup are 6 of the 7.

        Cecil, Jeffress & longshots Happ, McGowan & Lincoln are going to battle for the longman role.

        • and there is Bush too, he has look good this spring, think his name should be on that list.

          • Bush isn’t on the 40 man is he? He’d be easy to send to the minors.

            • The main point behind Happ going north over Ricky was that AA and Co have said the BEST 25man team will head North. Bush has been one of the better pitchers this spring, so Im just saying, based on what we have be told…..he should be on the list.

        • So assuming Happ is the 5th starter or in Buffalo, Cecil will probably be the long man.

          Lincoln goes to Buffalo?

  3. Dickey and Johnson pitched in minor league games earlier this week and nobody batted an eye. Cecil was a far bigger trainwreck last year than Romero is. The more I look at it, and given how open the organization seems to be about this, the less of a big deal this seems to be to me.

    • I wish Luis Jimenez was good enough to make this team. That dude gets me smiling every time I see him.

    • I swear I am trying to act my age but the Dickey and Johnson thing cracked me up!

      Also I am off work for at least 2 weeks do to spring break up so I plan on drinking every day.
      Both Stoeten and my wife have called me an idiot therefore I have my pantys in a knot.

      Spuds where are you?


  4. Sounds like Rome-woe is awful in this minor league game.

    @ArashMadani 14m

    4 hits, 2 runs, both earned, one walk and a wild pitch in a 19-pitch opening first inning from Romero, who faced seven batters. #Bluejays

    @ArashMadani 1m

    Romero has walked two of the first three batters to open the second inning. #BlueJays #Jays

  5. I’m starting to feel like Eugenio Velez isn’t going to make the team

  6. 5 hits
    5 walks
    4 runs
    less than 3 innings
    He’s done.

    • not yet, but if his next 2 – assuming he has two more spring starts look like that, then i will become a send down voter…..but for now, im still holding out hope.

    • That is insane. Mike McCoy could do better just by plain luck. Even I could. Did he get any strikeouts?

      I’ve been positive until now – thinking that even if he has a bad year, he can’t be worse than last year and at least our offence should be better. But my god, he’s…. he’s falling apart.

  7. great photo Stoet……wonder if you could have fit Happs face on one of the two in the backgroud…..that would have been a nice cherry on an already awesome photo.

  8. RR removed from the game mid-batter… Injury?


  9. Is Romero being the long man on this team out of the question?

  10. @ArashMadani: Anthopoulos says as of now, there are no plans to make changes to the rotation. But says conversations with #Bluejays brass await. #Jays

  11. The Blue Jays have the 5th starter solution just waiting in their organization.

    Much like 2 of Sanchez, Syndegaard & Nolin were “piggybacked”, this concept should be used with Happ and Romero.

    Piggyback Romero & Happ and whoever pitches better gets to start the next game with the other coming in as a reliever to (hopefully) finish the game.

    Ideally, once every five games the rest of the bullpen gets a rest.

    This would work better if one were a lefty and one were a righty. But whatever.


  13. Bring back ace pitcher Jeff Mathis

  14. Sorry to be that guy but does Ricky need to cear waivers if he starts in AAA or does he have options???

    • 1 option year left, same has happ

      wasn’t sure myself few weeks ago

      i do believe if they send him down, even though he is under contract, that he can elect for FA at the end of the year, same as Happ with the MLB vet rule.

      • He has all 3 options remaining (Romero)

        • dont think so, not an expert
          but i believe the fact that Ricky has 4 year MLB full time without being optioned, means he has 1 left as you only get 3 and after 5 years they are gone if you dont use them.

          • You do not accrue service time in the minors, so if he is optioned this year, he can be optioned next year.

      • Both need to acquire MLB service time for that rule to apply, which won’t happen if they are optioned to the minors (Happ has just over 4 years of service time, Romero exactly 4).

        • Though Happ has already used 2 of his options, so service time becomes moot in terms of options after this year if one is used.

        • your saying that based on assuming both them not being at the MLB lvl this year……which is short sighted.

          • Romero would need to be at the major league level for the entire year to accrue enough service time to reach 5 years – so if he uses an option this year, he is guaranteed to not reach that mark. Same applies to Happ, though it is moot because he will be out of options anyways. However, what is important is that if he starts the year with the Jays, at some point in the season (very late) they Jays will not be able to option him without him having the right to decline to report. and become a free agent.

            • Thanks dudes…I’m of the thinking that if one trip down doesnt do it he’s gonna be a 10 cents on the dollar move in the not so distant future…But I really do wish him the best and hope he figures it out…

  15. Cecil is looking sharp

    think he wants that last BP spot.

    • think this will also mean Casey starts the year on DL – giving AA more time to trade away guys out of options, instead of losing them as there are teams that will give them a shot im sure.

  16. Isn’t there a gentle mans rule about waivers

    • Yea, it’s about optional waivers, which noone is ever claimed off of, and is revokable anyways.

    • Not for players who are out of options. The gentleman’s agreement is because players with 3 years of service time have to clear waivers before they can be optioned to the minors. No one claims those players and they are revokable waivers. if someone put in a claim for Happ (or Romero) the Jays could just pull them back and keep them in the majors.

  17. Whatever the fuck is wrong with rickey is anyones guess. The fact that he can’t pitch it where he want to is not good.

  18. “Richard Griffin tweets that Lance Zawadzki, Ryan Langerhans and Andy LaRoche have been sent down to minor league camp.”
    Probably happened four days ago then.

  19. Just picked up Happ in both of my fantasy leagues…

  20. That will go down as the most hilarious photo of Ricky. Magnificent!

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