Thursday 9 May 2013

Pointing Fingers

Not gonna shit on you, Ricky.  It's not your fault.  A respectable start against a bunch of 19 year olds probably shouldn't have been grounds for a call-up in the first place.

It really is unfair of the Jays organization to send Ricky down to A-ball to get some work done, make one start, and then expect him to be able to take the mound in a pinch, expecting him to eat up a bunch of innings since the bullpen has been overworked.  Mechanical changes don't just happen overnight-- humans don't really work that way.  Muscle-memory, and the like.

Yeah, it was kind of unfortunate that Josh Johnson went down with a triceps injury, and that Mark Buehrle has not been very effective over his first five starts, or that the Jays bullpen has thrown more innings than every team other than the lowly Houston AAAstros.  I guess the Jose Reyes injury compunds those issues, in the sense that the offense is going to suffer in his absence, putting more pressure on the pitching staff.

This team needs starters to go deep in to ballgames.  Bad starts happen to every team, and they've happened a lot to this one in particular.  But Ricky Romero is still an asset.  An asset that is being paid something in the range of $23MM over the next three years, and as recently as one year ago, he was the alternate face of the franchise, next to Jose Bautista.  Perhaps we should treat him a little better.

I really don't think anybody (within their right mind, anyway) had reasonable expectations when it came to Romero, after being called up.  He fucked around with his mechanics in the minors, and made one start, after all.  We should really know better, by now.

We, as an internet baseball community, tend to believe in statistics and pretty much only statistics to quantify any beliefs that we have.  At least that's the stereotype that dinosaurs cast upon us.  Nonsensical statements like "get out of your parents' basement" and "if you actually watched the games, rather than just reading the scoresheet, you'd know that..." are probably a little less common now than they were a few years ago, with the rising popularity of advanced metrics, but they're certainly still out there.  It's just that it's pretty impossible to quantify the impact that leadership, grit, perseverance or confidence have on a team of adult professional athletes over the course of a season.

The Romero situation is one that, regardless of any statistical evidence pointing otherwise (if it exists, somewhere), proves that these players aren't just words with numbers beside them on a boxscore; these are actual humans, with feelings and emotions and brains.  Ricky Romero really shouldn't have been brought up to pitch last week, no matter how good his start in A-ball was (he was probably just brought up because he was the 6th man on the depth chart and was on something resembling regular rest; not because he had a good start in A-ball, but I digress).

The Jays announced this morning that they've DFA'ed Edgar Gonzalez again, and have optioned Ricky Romero to AAA-Buffalo, selecting the contracts of Mickey Storey and Ramon Ortiz to take their places.  The Gonzalez thing, I can live with-- need a fresh arm.  The Ortiz and Storey thing is probably correct too, depending on freshness and availability.  But at this point, those moves are just righting the wrong that was made by calling Romero up to face Seattle this past week.

Romero had a really shitty year in 2012, and started off 2013 by being demoted, after being told all spring that the fifth spot in the rotation was his.  We're now a month in to the year, and he's been demoted again.  I don't know the guy personally, but I'll guess that he didn't really need to be demoted twice in the first month of the year.  Tthese last 14 months have had to be really, really shitty for a guy that was once treated as a face of the franchise.  They don't just make bobbleheads out of nobody.  They don't put nobody on big posters and jerseys, and so on.  They don't give $30MM to nobody.

Ricky Romero is somebody.  He's a somebody with a few issues, as far as pitching is concerned, but this really isn't the way to fix them.

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