If you’re just tuning into the Blue Jays game this afternoon you can be forgiven for having some confusion. You’re not hallucinating. Ricky Romero didn’t magically turn into a scruffy Texan with a very effective two seam fastball on Cinco De Mayo.
The Blue Jays number one starter is sitting out today’s afternoon game due to an oblique strain that was likely caused by that play in New York on Friday where he snagged a line drive hit straight at his face. The plan is to have Jesse Litsch, just like Drabek, move up a day on normal rest thanks to Monday’s off day, and then go with Romero on Saturday if he’s able.
The National Post’s John Lott asked Romero if he expected to be ready for Saturday.
I think so. The stuff I’m doing now, if I was really that bad I wouldn’t be able to move. But I woke up this morning feeling better. Obviously, the training staff has done a great job and hopefully it just continues to get better tomorrow. Today I was able to do some of the stuff that I wasn’t able to do yesterday.
If he can’t go, it will put the Blue Jays in a peculiar position. The team will be unwilling to go Jo-Jo Reyes on short rest, and could end up having to place Romero on the Disabled List. However, the first option to come up from Triple A Las Vegas, Brad Mills, pitched yesterday, making him unavailable.
Carlos Villanueva, who hasn’t pitched since May 1st, is an option to spot start, but the right hander hasn’t thrown more than three and a third innings since 2009. Marc Rzepczynski, the only other current active roster option to start has pitched in the last two games and is unlikely to get overworked by John Farrell.
If the Jays are forced into putting Romero on the DL retroactive to last Friday, it’s worth noting that Saturday would be Brett Cecil’s regularly scheduled start in Las Vegas.