Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Tampa Bay Rays Friday afternoon in Dunedin by a score of 6-3, with 3 of the 4 Blue Jays pitchers having given up at least a run, save for Ricky Romero. Romero had a strong 2 innings of work in the 7th and 8th innings, finishing with a line of 2 IP, 1-hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, including 4 groundouts.
This was a very encouraging outing for Ricky in his 2nd appearance during this spring training (if you need a reminder, he pitched 1 inning vs Orioles and gave up 2 walks in his first appearance).
Romero came on for Stroman in the 7th, and retired 3 batters around a 2-out walk to Sean Rodriguez. In the 8th, Ricky got the first two outs quickly but gave up a 2-out single followed by a throwing error by 3rd baseman Maicer Izturis on a ground ball. With 2 baserunners on, Romero didn’t let the error bother him, as he went right after the next batter, Richie Shaffer–striking him out for the final out of the inning.
There was no question that Romero looked a lot more comfortable out there on the mound than we have seen in the past. He didn’t struggle with his command, he was able to locate the zone and continually went after Rays’ batters.
It is important to note that Romero did not face usual major league hitters, instead in the 7th and 8th, the Rays had their minor league level players in the lineup at the time.
Nonetheless, Ricky Romero was fired up after he got the 3rd out in the 8th, pounding his glove as he walked off the mound.
Romero is amongst the many competing for the now 2 possible spots open in the rotation–after some doubt crept in as to Happ’s security with the 4th spot. While considered a long shot to make the club out of spring training, his teammate and good friend Jose Bautista encouraged fans to get on the Ricky Romero bandwagon now, as Mike Wilner tweeted:
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) March 7, 2014