AL BEast Notebook – March 27
Last year’s Blue Jay Opening Day starter and current projected number five pitcher Ricky Romero was sent down to the Class-A affiliate in Dunedin today. J.A. Happ will take his place in the rotation.
After a disastrous 2012 where he went 1-13 after June 22 and finished with an ERA of 5.77, Romero has continued to struggle this spring. In five Grapefruit League appearances, Romero pitched 13 innings, giving up 17 hits, 10 walks, and holding a 6.23 ERA.
Toronto coaches have been working with the 28-year-old on tweaking his mechanics, but after last night’s disappointing performance against the Pirates (4.1 IP, 6 hits, 3 walks, 3 runs), there just isn’t any more time to get him right before the season. Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos says he will stay in the minors as long as it takes to get back to form.
Ricky Romero pitched very well for Toronto in 2011, maintaining a 2.92 ERA for 225 innings and 15 wins and setting himself up as a staff ace. So the potential is there.
J.A. Happ, 30, has a 35-35 career record with the Phillies, Astros and Blue Jays with a 4.19 ERA. In 2009, his first year as a starter, he had a 12-4 record with a 2.93 ERA in 166 innings.