Ricky Romero looked awful last night. As a major league pitcher, you have to be able to throw the ball where you want to throw it was some consistency. Last night, poor Ricky couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.
It’s no surprise that Romero has been sent to triple-A after last night’s disaster. He was only able to record one out through the first seven batters and was quickly yanked. Some people are saying that John Gibbons was too quick to give Romero the hook last night. The ol’ “what does it do to his confidence” bit. Well, we are trying to win ball games. And Gibbons said it best. He has a responsibility to the other 24 guys on the team to try and win the game. When a pitcher can’t control where he is throwing the ball (I mean, Ricky wasn’t even close last night), a manager should have a quick hook.
So down goes Ricky, which leads to the question – was he brought up to fast in the first place? To me, the answer is definitely yes (and if you are a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll remember I thought it was too quick before Ricky threw a single pitch for the Blue Jays this season). But I guess the Jays thought Ricky was the best in-house solution to replace Josh Johnson and tried to rush him. They obviously thought wrong. But what does that say about the recent call ups. Are Mickey Storey or Ramon Ortiz suddenly better than Ricky Romero? Do they give the Jays a better shot at winning?
You wouldn’t think so, but maybe. Romero has lost 15 of his past 16 decisions dating back to 2012 and owns a 7.60 ERA over that span. Yikes!
Edgar Gonzalez was sent back down after throwing 4.2 innings of relief and giving up 5 runs. He was really only called up as an insurance policy in case Romero struggled to provide bullpen depth and eat some innings. Last night would have been Gonzalez’s regular turn in the triple-A rotation, so his arm was fresh. Now that it’s not fresh, he’ll have to clear waivers to once again pitch in Buffalo. I think he will – he always has once this year.
So up come Ramon Ortiz and Mickey Storey.
Ortiz, 39, made one relief appearance for Toronto on this year. He has compiled a 2-0 record and 2.18 ERA in four games (three starts) with in triple-A. The righty has posted a 86-84 with a 4.93 ERA in 297 career appearances, including 214 starts. Barring any other roster moves (and you never know with Alex Anthopoulos’ roster of musical chairs), I expect Ortiz to get a temporary shot in the rotation at least until Josh Johnson is back – the Jays expect him back towards the end of May.
Storey posted a 3.93 ERA in seven relief appearances in triple-A. The 26-year-old righty had a 3.86 ERA in 30.1 innings as a rookie with the Astros last season. With J.A. Happ only going 1.1 innings two nights ago due to an early exit after being hit by a line drive in the head (thank goodness he appears to not have any serious injuries) and Romero’s 0.1 innings of work last night, the Jays need some fresh arms in the ‘pen.
Romero is a mystery. Will he ever be effective again? He simply does not have the ability to consistently throw strikes. It’s mind boggling. Who knew that Ortiz would be the better option? I would have never of guessed it, but it certainly looks that way now.
With both Johnson and Happ out, expect to see another move. Assuming Ortiz gets a start, the Jays are still one short in their rotation.