Monday, June 1, 2009

Romero struggling since return from DL

What a disappointing return from the disabled list for Ricky Romero. After looking so good in his first three career big league starts, where he silenced his critics that labeled him a bust, he has struggled mightily since coming back for his oblique injury.

Prior to going on the shelf, Romero was 2-0 with an ERA of 1.71. In his two starts since returning to the starting five, he is 0-2, surrendering 10 runs on 19 hits, including a whopping five homers in just 9.1 innings of work against Baltimore and Boston. Romero has struggled with his command, too often falling behind in counts and has subsequently been susceptible to the long ball.

I would expect the club will allow him to have one more start to work through his mechanics. Should he falter, a trip to AAA Las Vegas likely would be in the offing, with David Purcey, Brett Cecil, Brad Mills or Fabio Castro candidates to replace him in the rotation. Romero must prove his sensational start was not an aberration, rather that his two poor outings were instead.

League thriving in set-up role

I've always defended my boy Brandon League to the throngs of Jays fans that claim that he's garbage. In fact, at the start of the season I predicted he would eventually fill the closer's role if B.J. Ryan struggled. Unfortunately for League, he also had a rough start to the campaign, seemingly losing the trust of the club.

A couple of days ago, I thought that Manager Cito Gaston had no confidence in the fireballer because he didn't go to him to lock down the contest in extra innings in Baltimore, instead electing to turn to Brian Wolfe. Therefore, I proclaimed that logically speaking, Jason Frasor should be the set up man for Toronto, because he's been fantastic so far.

Clearly, Gaston does in fact have a lot of faith in League because he's inserted him in the 8th inning of the first two games of the Boston series. League didn't disappoint, retiring all 3 hitters he faced in both contests. He was provided sorely needed relief at the back end of the bullpen, mixing in his great fastball with a phenomenal splitter.

If he keeps this up, he might just make the transition to closer within a couple of years. He most definitely has great potential to be the stopped of the future, and not so distant present.