Day 9: Sarasota

Hey kids. Back in Sarasota at good ‘ol Ed Smith Stadium. Don’t have a ton of time today, so I’m going to get straight to today’s Prospect Impression:

I must admit going in that I’ve always been a big fan of Ricky Romero. I can’t say it’s because I’ve seen him blow hitters away in the past or because I’ve heard amazing scouting reports on his abilties. No, it’s really because he wrote a player journal for us during the 2007 season. On the field, the 2005 first-round pick (No. 6 overall) has been a little up-and-down in his career, mostly because he’s had to deal with some injury issues along the way.

Here’s the good thing, though. The 24-year-old has climbed back into the race for a spot in the Blue Jays rotation. That wasn’t necessarily because of anything he had done, but because of the futility of the other candidates. In fact, Romero had a 7.50 ERA  and had walked nine in six previous Grapefruit League innings. He hadn’t pitched in a big-league game since March 7. But that’s neither here nor there. He’s back in the race and if Monday is any indication, he could snag the job.

Over the past few weeks, Romero’s been working on making some adjustments to his mechanics, working to not throw across his body. Those kinks were causing much of his command issues. It looked like all that work has paid off, at least for now. The southpaw walked two in his five innings and allowed two runs, but overall looked very sharp. He scattered seven hits and struck out five. It’s looking like he’s going to get at least one more start and definitely seems to be moving forward while the other veteran options are going in the opposite direction. It could come down to a choice between lefty prospects Romero or Brad Mills. Should be interesting to watch the rest of the way.

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