Tag Archives: Ricky Romero

Slumps can’t bust Jose Bautista

Everybody’s favourite all-star vote leader is in a bit of a slump. It’s been 12 games since he last went deep. While I enjoy his particular brand of mashed potatoes and look forward to when he’ll start serving them again, Jose Bautista has not been unproductive in his 12 consecutive popless games.

Yes, since he’s last hit a home run, Bautista has posted a slash line of .316/.480/.342/.822. The missing power shows up in the third number there (slugging percentage, if you’re like me and are prone to things like slash-line brain farts), but the second number (on-base percentage) is just totally ridiculous.

Despite his almost complete lack of power, Bautista is still getting on base 48% of the time he comes to the plate.

To put that in a little bit of perspective: Bautista leads the major in OBP this season at .498. Joey (Can’t Wait Until He Comes Home) Votto is second overall at .463. In other words… sorry, this deserves its own line:

A slumping Jose Bautista is still better at getting on base than anybody else in the game.

Unbelievable, yes, but that realization is not even the best thing that’s come out of the slump. Check out what Ricky Romero had to say:

“He’s a human being, man. He’s not Babe Ruth out there,” said Ricky Romero, the Blue Jays starter.

Take that, John Danks.

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Why would Toronto want Slowey?

Should Alex Anthopoulos trade for Kevin Slowey? The gut reaction is definitely no. The Blue Jays don’t need more starting pitching. And Slowey’s no stud who’s worth bumping people for.

But gut reactions are no way to run a team and there are reports that Toronto is interested in bringing in the Minnesota right hander, they even had soem scouts watching the Twins the other day when Slowey was pitching. According to MLB Trade Rumours, Slowey might even be had for some bullpen arms, which the Jays have more than enough of.

So, should the Jays trade for Kevin Slowey if it only costs them some bullpen arms? That scenario’s a lot easier to agree with, but is it the right move?

Right now, Toronto’s set to break camp with a starting rotation of Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, probably Kyle Drabek and one of either Marc Rzepcynski or Jesse Litsch.

Slowey’s a decent pitcher, but he’s an extreme flyball pitcher — his flyball rate tends to hang out in the 50% range.

The SkyDome, as we all know, is a park that’s very friendly to flyball hitters (Jose Bautista!) so Slowey’s flyball rate is a pretty big strike against the case for him to pitch in Toronto. Combine that with the starting pitching depth Toronto’s already got and a trade for Slowey doesn’t make sense.

Unless Anthopoulos is getting ready for a deal with another team that’s crying for starting pitching (St. Louis? Rasmus? We can dream.)

Then again, there may be nothing at all to these reports. We all know Anthopoulos doesn’t talk about rumours, so the Jays get connected to every player that was ever discussed in any sort of rumour. And those scouts who watched Slowey pitch? Well, could be as simple as doing a bit of recon; Toronto opens the season against the Twins.

(UPDATE: I’ll often try not to read other blogs before writing a post. Sometimes this means that another blog will have written a similar post previous to mine. This is one of those times. For a much more thorough look at these rumours, you really should check out Getting Blanked.)

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Listening to Jays Talk last year, somebody called in asked something about who Toronto’s fifth starter might be next year.

Mike Wilner basically responded by telling the guy that Toronto fans are spoiled. We’re lucky to have such quality pitching. Most teams, he said, have lousy No. 5 pitchers.

He’s right. We Jays fans are lucky. Whether we’ve got Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow or Brett Cecil taking the hill, we know our teem has a shot to win.

But do you have a favourite?

Marcum’s my man. I was lucky enough to randomly catch his first pro start back on July 18, 2006. He only went five innings, but he held the Texas Rangers to one hit and struck out five. Good numbers to be sure, but it wasn’t what he did that won me over, it was the way he did it.

I love watching pitchers make batters look foolish and Marcum’s changeup does that on a regular basis.

The fact that Marcum has since embraced filth and expanded it beyond his just his pitches (take a look at his cap next time you see him) only makes me love him more.

So what is it? Are you with me on #TeamMarcum or is Romero more your type? Maybe Cecil’s potential is too much for you to resist? How about Morrow’s complete domination of late?

Take a vote in the poll below and, if you’d like to say a little something about your choice, sound off in the comment section.



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The bright side of death

The Blue Jays offence is sputtering. Aaron Hill and Adam Lind don’t appear to be snapping out of their funks to save it, either.

Cito Gaston continues to demonstrate what managers are not supposed to do, while the manager of a team the Jays are chasing in the A.L. East may have figured out how to beat Shaun Marcum.

Toronto has lost 6 of its last 7 games. Meanwhile, the Yankees and Red Sox seem to be picking up their games.

Add this up and you get a pretty ugly picture of where the Jays are headed. But who wants to look at that kind of stuff?

I know I’d normally be all doom and gloom in a post like this but, like the song says, “always look on the bright side of death.” So that’s what I’m doing and it’s surprisingly easy.

First off, the Jays weren’t supposed to contend this year. The fact that they’re playing better than .500 is a nice sweet little bonus. So there’s that, but that’s not why I’m excited.

I am excited because over the next three games we get to see Shaun Marcum, Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero pitch. In San Diego. Pitcher’s park of pitcher’s parks. These are guys who usually dominate no matter where they go, but in San Diego? It promises to be an embarrassment of riches.

Sure San Diego is playing really, really well. Sure, the Jays have a history of losing to tonight’s Padres starter — Jon Garland’s got a career record of 11-2 against Toronto. None of that matters. You know why? Because this Jays team is not supposed to win.

Sure, I like to see them win; I’ll likely continued to get aggravated with Cito for his ridiculous decisions; and I’ll likely to continue to complain about lost games that the Jays should have won.

Ultimately though, this is a year about developing players. Toronto’s got a trio of pitchers who are pretty amazing already and now we get to watch them go in Petco. Even if Toronto loses every game 1-0, enjoy it while you can. Marcum, Romero and Cecil should look even more amazing in San Diego.

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Momma said knock you out

Dominating. Ricky Romero was simply dominating against the Pale Hose tonight. After the kick in the nuts that was attending the Home Opener, I’m glad I hauled myself down to the Dome to see RR Cool Jay throw eight innings of one hitter.

There’s a lot to be said for screaming fastballs, hammer curves and wicked sliders, but my favourite kind of pitcher to watch is one who makes hitters look foolish with a beautiful changeup. That’s why I love Shaun Marcum, and that’s why I love Romero.

Nothing deep to add right now, just a few thoughts:

• Alex Rios. WTF. Are very loud boos all you need to produce like you’re capable of doing?

• Vernon Wells: I know it’s early, but my hope that you’re really back grows almost daily. Keep it up, sir. It makes me happy that you’re being cheered at the Dome now. I can’t imagine how much better that feels for you than the treatment you received last year.

• You’re growing on me, John Buck. I do not expect this to last, but I plan on enjoying it while I can.

• Watching A.J. Pierzynski, I found myself wishing Michael Barret was still a Blue Jay.

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The new stopper

Ricky Romero

Scott Richmond’s on the DL.

The Jays game yesterday was one of the most painful things I’ve witnessed in a long time. Three-and-a-half hours to play 5 innings? Absurd.

Whether it’s because of his groin or the rdiculous short porch at the new Yankee stadium, Doc’s nto back to being himself yet.

The Jays are 2-7 in their last 9.

Drew (the Barber) is getting attacked by snakes.

It’s not easy being a Jays fan right now.

Even Aaron Hill and Doc Halladay going to the All-Star Game isn’t doing much for me. Sure, it’s nice, but it’s hard to get excited about a completely meaningless game.

The two things that are keeping me going right now are the excellent top half of the order (can Scutaro, Hill, Lind, Rolen and Overbay be the new WAMCO?) and the awesome that is RR Cool J.

Those two two wins in the Jays’ last 9 I mentioned above? Yep, Rookie Romero won both those games.

Pitching today and ready to knock out the Yanks? Yep, it’s Ricky.

The Bronx is going to wake up sometime tomorrow with a headache and blurry vision thinking “what the hell happened?” Eventually it’ll stumble upon a newspaper or a YES highlight or something and only then will it remember the beating the RR Cool J layed upon it.

Yep, I’m ready for Rookie to be a stopper. I think he is, too.

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Roster moves!

Joe's back, and he didn't even need a Voodoo Whammy!

Joe's back, and he didn't even need a Voodoo Whammy!

Travis (Amazing Sniderman) Snider, Brett Cecil and Bobby Ray have all been sent down to Vegas.

Rickey Romero, Casey Janssen and Voodoo Joe Inglett are all on their way back to Toronto.

Janssen’s going to be starting tomorrow against Atlanta, and Romero’s getting the nod Tuesday in Baltimore.

Voodoo Joe is exactly the type of player that Cito doesn’t seem to like using and that’s too bad, because Inglett’s got the scrap that will keep the dummies happy. (And yeah, I enjoy that kind of play too.)

T. Snides going down isn’t all that surprising. He’s been struggling lately and his playing time has gone down accordingly. Lunch Box should mash completely in the PCL. Before you know it, the Great Pasty White Hope will likely be back in Toronto and better than ever.

As fro Cecil and Ray, they performed generally awesome while with the big boys, but they had to know coming up that they weren’t destined to be here for long. Hopefully they don’t take their respective starts against Boston to heart.

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J.P. surprises everyone

First B.J. Ryan is taken off the DL without being returned to the closer’s role, now Ricky Romero is taken off the DL and, instead of bumping someone from the big league rotation, he’s being sent to Vegas.

The last couple of weeks seems to have been a constant debate about who’s headed to the minors when Romero and Jesse Litsch and Casey Janssen get healthy. Rob Ray was the consensus choice, with Scott Richmond getting some recent shoves toward the door (even though he’s only had one bad start).

But instead of doing any of that, J.P. just sent the first healthy guy down to the minors.

As great as Romero’s been, I’m cool with the move.

Sure, there’s a good chance that Ray’s start tomorrow will be his last, but maybe not. All the arms in the rotation are doing good right now, so why screw with it?

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Justice for J.P.


The Toronto media, when it comes to the Maple Leafs, is notorious for planning parade routes after a win, screaming that the sky is falling after a loss, and doing its best to run superstars out of town (see Sundin, Mats).

To a lesser extent, the same is true of its coverage of your Toronto Blue Jays. The worst seems to always be expected of this team, regardless of how they’re playing and how the team is actually being run.

Mike Wilner, of course, is a notable exception. He provides balanced, realistic coverage of the team day in and day out. His thanks? Dealing with callers during his phone-in post game show who are all apparently brainwashed by the prevailing opinion of the local media.

One of the main themes, led by a certain former Montreal Expos P.R. flack, is that J.P. Ricciardi should be fired.

The media (and JaysTalk callers) say things like, “Ricciardi can’t sign the big free agents.”

“He’s a loose cannon. Just listen to what he said about Adam Dunn!”

“He doesn’t even live in Toronto!”

“He’s supposed to be good at drafting players, but he passed over Troy Tulowitzki!”

I’m no J.P. apologist, but some of the arguments levied against the man are just a bit ridiculous.

So now, with the Jays off to a great start and sitting in first place in the entirity of Major League Baseball, it’s good to see that a media figure (other than Wilner) has actually stepped up to give J.P. some credit, even if it is indirect.

Let’s run down some of the people that are doing great things in the first month of a new season.

First, Aaron Hill. He does things at second base that will remind you of Roberto Alomar, meaning his glove work can occasionally take your breath away.

He also leads the major league in hits and is one of several reasons the Toronto Blue Jays are in first place in the American League East. Teammates Ricky Romero and Jason Frasor are on that list, too.

The Blue Jays were only going to go as far as their young pitchers took them, and so far, Romero and Frasor are a combined 5-0, but Romero was placed on the 15-day disabled list this week.

All three players mentioned were brought in by J.P. — Frasor by trade, Hill and Romero through the draft. And yes, Romero is the guy J.P. drafted ahead of Tulowitzki.

But wait, there’s more!

The Blue Jays are a model organization in some ways. That is, they’re forced to build through player development because they don’t have the resources to spring for the big-ticket free agents.

When teams do it this way, even when their scouts are making good decisions, there can be frustration among fans because fans want everything done yesterday.

Once the talent pipeline starts flowing, teams like the Blue Jays — and the Marlins — have a chance to remain in contention for a long time. Nice going, Blue Jays.

Developing their own players, impatient fans, being set up really well for the future, this article pretty much nails the whole situation. (Although a certain “interim” president might disagree that the team is lacking resources.)

J.P.'s white knight.

J.P.'s white knight.

So who is this writer who has come to J.P.’s defence? His name, appropriately enough, is Richard Justice. And he’s based in Houston.

You didn’t think he’d be a Toronto writer, did you?

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Romero out, Cito still awesome


In an attempt to protect the health of a promising young pitcher, the Jays have placed Ricky Romero on the 15-day disabled list. Apparently he’s got a muscle strain and a little time on the sidelines should heal him right up. Nothing to worry about, hopefully (I know it’s hard to think that way when this team has a history of turning “sore backs” into Tommy John surgery, but let’s try to be positive.)

While the injury may not be worth worrying about, what is worth worrying about is how the Jays are going to replace him in the rotation. Romero’s been the Jays’ best pitcher so far this year (sorry, Doc) posting a 2-0 record in three starts with a 1.71 ERA, 1.095 WHIP and a 3.25 K/BB ratio.

Based on how spring training transpired, it would seem likely that either Brad Mills or Brett Cecil will be called up (apparently some early reports say that Cecil will get the call) but Romero, based on his performance so far, will be extremely difficult to replace.

The way this team is swinging the bats though, maybe it’s not all that important that the new guy fills Romero’s sizeable shoes.

Thoughts on last night

cito-gastonSince he took over the club midway through last season, I have been a huge Cito supporter. I don’t always agree with his managerial decisions (didn’t when he was winning World Series either) but it’s clear that the man knows how to handle a team. The 62-42 record since he took over is evidence enough for me.

Despite my support for the man, the recent negativity swirling around the blogosphere has apparently affected my judgement. Last night I took to twittering some tweets (yes, I know it sounds ridiculous) about my disagreement with certain decisions the Cito was making.

Using Snider as a pinch runner, then having him bunt?

Not using Overbay as a pinch hitter in the 11th?

Maybe Cito really was losing it.

But we all know what happened. Snider stayed in and successfully layed down an important bunt.

Overbay didn’t pinch hit for Millar, and Millar drove in the winning running.

The lesson of the night, as Jeff Blair so excellently put it, Don’t doubt the Cito.

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