DUNEDIN, FLA. - Ricky Romero’s fall from grace was complete Tuesday when hours after his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates the Blue Jays decided to option the left-hander to class-A Dunedin to work on his delivery.
The No. 1 pitcher in the Jays rotation the previous two seasons, Romero was dropped down to No. 5 entering spring training because of his miserable 2012 season — 9-14 in 32 starts with a 5.77 ERA and a season where he forged a 13-game losing streak — and the off-season acquisitions by general manager Alex Anthopoulos who acquired R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle in trades.
J.A. Happ, who has been impressive this spring — a 1.89 ERA in six appearances including five starts — will take over in Romero’s spot.
Anthopoulos said the decision was made following a four-way conversation with manager John Gibbons, pitching coach Pete Walker and assistant GM Tony LaCava.
In the past few weeks the Jays have tinkered with Romero’s mechanics, specifically his landing spot on the mound in an effort to have him in a straighter line to the plate and throw less across his body.
“After today’s game we sat down and talked for quite a while,” Anthopoulos said. “Ricky was better today and he’s making strides but he’s not there yet. Ultimately, the more we thought about it, could we have started with him — sure. If he’s not ready and as sharp as he needs to be, he needs more time.”