It’s strange to think that someone who has anchored the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff for three of the last four years is now a fifth starter. However, it’s a sad reality for Ricky Romero as the Blue Jays are not expecting much from the 28-year-old starter in 2013.
Romero had to see the writing on the wall as he was uncharacteristically awful in 2012. After the 2011 season, I had Romero pegged as a potential Cy Young candidate as he won 15 games with a 2.92 ERA over a carer-high 225 innings. Romero has always been known for his left-handed heat and he fanned 178 batters in his fantastic 2011 campaign.
2012 was anything but Cy-Young caliber for Romero. Long story short, the Blue Jays starter led the league in walks with 105, but was pitiful with a 5.77 ERA, 14 loses and a 1.674 WHIP.
Now, Romero is a fifth starter for a Toronto team that broke the bank on starting pitching this off-season. In fact, the team has three new starters in the rotation this year–R.A Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnso–who were all acquired to start games in Toronto this season, two coming from the Miami Marlins.
Dickey is the new opening day starter as Romero has been given the boot after receiving the honor for the last two years. Hopefully, the former All-Star can return to the formidable ace he was in years past. If he can not get himself together, the organization might look to give him a change of scenery as he still has some value on the trade market.
On the bright side, Romero has three good seasons under his belt and just one where he was downright putrid, so conventional wisdom says that he will rebound with a force in 2013. If Romero can return to the guy he was in 2011, then the Blue Jays will have the best starting rotation in the MLB.