Appreciating Ricky Romero

Just wanted to update a former piece from my old blog on Blue Jays Ricky Romero with updated 2011 stats…

Former Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi has taken his share of criticism since departing from the team but the franchise does owe him a bit of gratitude for leaving behind two of the best players on the roster, Jose Bautista and newly minted “boss” starter Ricky Romero.  I wanted to focus on the latter today considering you must have been on Mars for the past 18 months if you aren’t familiar with the exploits of one Jose Bautista.

Ricardo Romero was born November 6th, 1984 in East Los Angeles, California and was drafted 6th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2005 MLB amateur draft.  The 2005 draft year in MLB is akin to the 2003 NBA draft that produced Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, among a few other stars.  Taken ahead of Romero that year was Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Jeff Clement (ouch, the Detroit Pistons of this draft) Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Braun.

It doesn’t stop there check some of the names taken after Mr. Romero: Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Pelfrey, Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Chris Volstad, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza,  Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus, Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie.  Ok, forget comparing it to the 2003 NBA draft, or any draft, that is a who’s who of young baseball talent and even a few franchise players.

Considering his home park and division Ricky Romero has been one of the best left handed starters in baseball the past two seasons.  Brandon Morrow has the best stuff on the staff but Ricky Romero is our best pitcher.  Let’s do a quick comparison against another top lefty who most assume is a Cy Young contender annually, let’s see if you can guess his identity based on current stats.

2011 ERA xFIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 BAA GB% WAR
Romero 2.92 3.64 7.1 3.2 2.23 1.04 .214 54.7 2.9
Player B 3.47 3.62 8.5 3.5 2.43 0.94 .233 50.6 3.7

Pretty even across the board although it is clear that Player B is more of a strikeout pitcher while we all know Ricky Romero likes to induce groundball outs when he can.  Player B is Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester who is having another very solid season in another tough ball park and tough AL East.  Lester is often among a handful of candidates when discussing best pitcher in the game while it is very rare that Romero will get the same type of praise.

Market and city has a lot to do with the difference in perceived value but Romero is 11 months younger than Lester and performing at a very similar clip over the past two seasons.  Lester was quite a bit better last year overall (5.6 WAR) but Romero held his own throwing 200+ IPs for the first time in his career (4.0 WAR).

His intense demeanour during his starts is a testament to a desire to win and his light hearted banter with teammates on off days make him an ideal leader and role model in the clubhouse for some of the future Blue Jays arms that are being stockpiled in the minor leagues.  Maybe Tyler Beede was too intimidated to sign with the Jays after one glimpse of Romero’s scowl walking off the mound?

Maybe Blue Jays fans were spoiled all those years watching the legend that is Roy Halladay apply his craft that we don’t appreciate the fact Ricky Romero is developing into a true number one starter.


6 Responses to “Appreciating Ricky Romero”

  1. 1 Concetta March 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Sorry…I forgot to provide this a Five star Rating.
    ..oahu is the best aside from my previous assessment and how the actual menthol cartridges are
    a little too much and how I’d love for one to make a cigarette flavor having a touch regarding menthol added to make it more like the traditional menthol cigarette. This would definitely be considered a plus to us traditional smokers who are certainly not interested in the chocolate, coffee and spicey flavors. Definitely one of the best acquisitions I have ever made!

  2. 2 Keith March 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Great review. There are probably 6-10 true “ace” level starters in all of baseball: Halladay, Lee Verlander, Sabathia, Wainwright, King Felix, Lincecum. These are guys who are at a different level and have demonstrated this level of excellence for years. An off night for them is giving up 4 runs. You then have a secondary buch like Weaver, Price etc who will be there but need more time.
    For the rest of baseball we have to build rotations that overall have a level of excellence that will match. You are right that Fans in Toronto were spoiled by Halladay. We thought that all teams must have a guy like that. It’s only with his departure that we realize how rare a guy like him truly is rare. Ricky is establishing that he can be a #1. He is not in the level of the Hallidays or Verlander, but he will be a dominant force more nights than not because of his competitive fire. We are lucky to have him and leading a rotation that includes Morrow, Alvarez, Drabek and Hutchison looks pretty darn good. I think the sum of the parts is greater than the individual parts.

    • 3 AL Eastbound & Down (@ALEastbound) March 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      I agree. Ricky Romero is probably a true #2 but battles like a #1. I love his determination and heart more than just his stuff, which is still pretty solid.

      But I do miss Roy, though I hold no ill will towards him. He left as classy as he came and represented the city and the fans so well.

    • 4 Julius May 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      If you haven’t seen, Jered Weaver is an ace now. He just threw a complete game 1 walk no-hitter and leads all players in ESPN fantasy points with a 5-0 Record 1.60 ERA and 50K’s over 50.2 Innings.

      His stats last season: 18W-8L 2.40 ERA 1.01WHIP 235.2 IP
      Those look like ace-numbers too. He is an ace and has been for 3 years.

  1. 1 Trying To Make Sense Of Ricky Romero’s Struggles « AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on August 4, 2012 at 9:53 am
  2. 2 Brett Cecil Demotion Highlites Blue Jays Questionable Starting Rotation « AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on April 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

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