Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ricky Romero

The 2009 Blue Jays have been dealt with an array of injuries to their pitching staff. While Roy Halladay recently returned back to the team after being placed on the 15-day DL, there are still 6 other pitchers that are injured and unable to contribute to the team. With these injuries, it is surprising that the Jays have a record above .500. While the offense has stepped up their game (more specifcally Lind, Hill, Rolen, and Scutaro) it is important to note how much the young starters have filled in for the injured guys and have done relatively one.

While I have focused a portion of these posts on rookie Scott Richmond, I have to take the time to mention young lefty-handed pitcher named Ricky Romero who has been stellar during his first year pitching in the major leagues. Romero is a 24 year old who was drafted by the Jays back in 2005. He suffered injuries (shoulder and elbow) during the 2006-2007 year which shortened the amount of play he had in the minor leagues. While he has struggled within the minor leagues, he was able to make the major league roster out of spring training this year.

His first start in the majors came on April 9th, against the Detroit Tigers. It was an interesting match-up as he went against the Tigers rookie named Rick Porcello in which he was able to record his first win of his career. In his first 3 starts of the season, he went 2-0 with an area of 1.71. It was shortly after this in which he strained his oblique muscle and was placed on the 15-day DL.

After returning off the DL, Romero has gone 4-3 and with the exception of two subpar outing, he has done pretty well. He started today against the Rays, pitching 8 shutout innings; giving up 4 hits and 7K's. His ERA has dropped to 2.85 and he has a record of 6-3 for the season.
Ricky Romero has a repertoire that consists of 4 pitches: fastball, change, slider, and curveball. The scouting report of Romero when he was drafted by the Jays in 2005 stated that:

"Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game"

While he had developed these 4 pitches, he strayed away from using them all during the four years in which he was in the minor leagues. After struggling in the minors, Brad Arnsberg finally convinced Romero during spring training to have confidence in all four of his pitches, which is something you can see has worked very well for him.


Kyle said...

Great post!

Jays have had to cope with many injuries this year and they're hanging in there. Maybe with Halladay back and Romero doing well, they can make this a 4 team race in the division for 2 playoff spots.

Al Leiter's Bullpen Catcher said...

Wang vs Halladay on Saturday!

Kyle said...

Should be a great matchup. Wang was the starting and winning pitcher the last time the Yankees beat Halladay. Opening Day 2008. It was a 3-2 game.

If I had to guess, I'd say Halladay out pitches Wang, but if the game comes down to the bullpen it could get interesting.

That said, it seems like Halladay routinely pitches CGs vs the Yankees. He'll feast on a Yankee team that tries to be patient by attacking the strike zone and working quickly. It puts the hitters behind in counts and under pressure.

Al Leiter's Bullpen Catcher said...

Great Kyle, you have just jinxed Roy. Please take it all back and say he will suck. You are the king of bad things happening :)

Kyle said...

LOL me a jinx? I don't think even I could jinx Halladay.

Still, if there was ever a time the Yankees could potentially beat him it's this weekend. The Yankees have played well lately and Halladay is only making his 2nd start off the DL.

Plus, Wang is due for a good start. Even bad pitchers have their good days and I don't think Wang is finished as a starting pitcher.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

I love you for showing so much love to Ricky Ro. He has been divine this season.

Bruno Von Rottweiler said...

@ Christina, exellent write up on Ricky Romero, who many are saying is Santana Jr! The thing about the Yankees is their OBP/patience doesn't work well against Hallday. With his dazzling array of pitches and striokes, they are usually bamboozled. Christina, if anything Kyle just jinxed Wang! He has done better, BUT please the Yes propagandists(LOL) and Sterling and Suzyn act a little bit like he's the old Wang we remember! He's been better BUT I need to see more..... It will be interesting to see the Yanks against Romero. They usually don't fare well against pitchers they have never seen before.

The Yanks have been playing well lately BUT people know the MO of the team this year. They play well for an extended time THEN descend into mediocrity. NO offense to Yankee fans, but it would be great to see a Toronto sweep at the stadium(which is highly unlikely but one can dream). So that all the anti- Toronto idiots on NYC talk radio can have shit shoveled in their faces. Christina, you Kyle and the Commish are very fair and I respect your opinions BUT when I hear people like Evan Roberts(who is a wienie)or the Mad Dogless Mike show dismiss the Jays like they are crud. Even Joe Madden gave them props on the Cowherd show today, god bless 'im.

Al Leiter's Bullpen Catcher said...

Bruno-wow, Santana jr! Pretty impressive. Romero is pitching against the yankees on Monday against Pettitte and I am thinking about going to the game. Not sure though with the price of tickets.

Yankee fans dismiss the Jays because a portion are just uneducated about baseball in general. They complain about all the injuries, but if they had to sustain to amount of injuries the Jays had to their pitching staff, they would be in shambles wanting to trade for every single starter out there. The Jays have really battled to be where they are, and the lack of pithcing has come back to hurt them...

I do ask this question though, do you think there is an underlying issue pertaining to the number of injuries to their youing arms? I heard someone mention that the Jays have done a poor job regulating the number of innings from the young guys among other things. They have no problem developing these guys but too many of them are ending up injured (marcum, mcgowen, litshe)

What do you think?

Bruno Von Rottweiler said...

@ Christina, I think that along with Dave Duncan, Leo Mazzone, Jays' pitching coach Brad Arnsberg is the best in the biz. I also think he has something to do with the injuries as well. TO have two pitchers, Marcum and Litsch getting TJ surgery AND Mc Gowan never coming back possibly he is a factor perhaps. Did they rush Marcum, McGowan or Litsch a little bit BUT they pitched well when they were up. I don't know that they were pitching mega innings either. Phil Hughes was handled like kid gloves and he ended up on the DL BUT not like these pitchers. Once again, Arnsberg knows pitching but is his arm angle instructions or location plans screwing up these young arm? I say possibly......

That being said the Jays have arma upon arms in their minor leagues that would baffle most Yankee fans if they knew about them. Michael Kay thought that the pitching was suspect BUT right now it's not bad especially the SP, though the bullpen was much,much better last year.

I agree with your point about the Yankee SP, if CC,AJ AND Wang were gone it would be a replay of 2008. Even still, I think the Rays are still a great team. THeir young pitching is out of this world and Madden has used the closer by committee role effectively. If only Wells and Rios played to their potential it would be a four team race, instead they are really lazy! Look, most Yankee fans think they can just buy any pitcher etc so on. Guess what, it ain't that easy!Intelligent ones know that in developing kids like Hughes and Joba that that is where their future lies.

Al Leiter's Bullpen Catcher said...

@ Bruno

Well look at that, now Scott Richmond is hurt. I really am starting to wonder about this team and all these injuries.I am sure there probably isnt an underlying problem, but it is something you really have to look into I would think. Brett Cecil isnt going to cut it

Did you see Ricky Romero pitch today? I was so happy for him. Hes doing well this season. I hope Richmond isnt out for too long. Its amazing how well their young guys and rookies are doing this year. Its too bad their pen is terrible and can barely hold a lead.

At least Vernon and Rios are starting to wake up. They both had some good days the past 4 days, which is probably the best you can take out of losing 3/4 to the Yankees. At least they salvaged one of the games.