When taking a look at Ricky Romero‘s Spring Training stats through the seven innings that he’s pitched thus far, one can’t help but be a tad bit confused. The lefty’s numbers are surprisingly decent. Going into spring training, not many people gave Romero any chance at all to crack the Toronto Blue Jays‘ opening day 40-man roster. However, the native of East L.A. seems determined to continue to try and prove his many nay sayers wrong and perhaps make a move towards occupying that fifth spot in the rotation.
Although Romero’s confidence seems to be the highest it’s been in a very long time, there’s also a number in his stat line that is still too high for my liking: his walks. In just three appearances and seven innings pitched, Romero has given five free passes to the batters he has faced. This goes to show that Romero is still having problems locating his pitches and still doesn’t have the ability to pitch with great command in his fastball.
After having a career year in 2011, Romero had a terrible 2012 in which he walked 105 batters in only 181 innings pitched. Things didn’t get any better for him last season in Buffalo, as Romero managed to walk 63 batters in 120.2 innings pitched in the minors. It’s clear that Romero’s downward spiral has been fueled by the amount of walks he continues to issue. If he can’t figure out how to throw more strikes than he does balls, Romero may never get a chance to be a big league starter again.
Teams across the big leagues don’t have the patience for pitchers that don’t throw strikes. Unfortunately for him, Romero doesn’t possess a big-time curveball or a nasty slider that he can fool those he faces with. Romero needs to rely on whatever sort of command he can muster up whenever he takes the mound, and if he isn’t doing that, the former Jays’ ace has absolutely nothing at all.
When checking out Romero’s spring training numbers, try your best to look past the deceiving 1.29 ERA and move your eyes straight over to the amount of walks he has already put up and the amount he has surrendered over the past two seasons. This is exactly what Romero didn’t need to happen going into 2014, and it’s exactly why he shouldn’t be given another chance at being part of the Jays’ starting pitching rotation, no matter how well he thinks he’s pitching at the moment.