Blue Jays select Romero to start opener
Left-hander Ricky Romero will be the Blue Jays opening day
starter just two seasons after barely making Toronto’s roster.
Manager John Farrell made the announcement Friday. Romero was
No. 2 in the rotation last season behind Shaun Marcum, who has been
traded to Milwaukee.
”It means everything,” Romero said of starting against the
Twins at home on April 1. ”It means a lot. To be able to do what
I’ve accomplished in the first two years of my career with Toronto
has been amazing. I told Farrell that I was about as excited as I
was when I was called in (to his office) and told that I’d made the
In his most recent outing, Romero pitched four shutout innings,
allowing one hit, striking out six and walking two against
Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Romero didn’t make the Blue Jays big league
roster until after his final 2009 spring start, when he was in a
three-way competition for the fifth spot. He was 13-9 with a 4.30
earned-run average as a rookie and 14-9, 2.73 last season.
He was drafted sixth overall in 2005, one spot ahead of Colorado
shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. While Tulowitzki made it to the majors
in 2006 and has batted .290 with 92 home runs and 338 RBIs, Romero
showed little in the Class-A and Double-A, compiling a 16-21 record
Romero said he took motivation from an article in Sports
Illustrated about the 2005 draft class in which former Blue Jays
general manager J.P. Ricciardi said the team ”had made the wrong
decision” in picking Romero instead of Tulowitzki.
”Being considered a bust pretty much, I think that helped me
grow,” Romero said. ”Now I look back at those years of struggling
and I thank God every day for it because it made me stronger,
mentally and physically, and it’s helped me to get to where I’m at
Farrell said the Blue Jays believe Romero is ready to be the
”We have that confidence in him that he can match up with
whoever is put out there by any other club,” Farrell said.
Being the No. 1 starter ”is just another challenge,” Romero
said. ”… Whoever you’ve got to face that night, you’ve got to go
out there and beat ’em.”