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Saturday June 11, 2011 8:03 am

Ricky Romero cruises despite losing record




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB

Ricky RomeroAs pitching becomes more and more specialized, we’re gradually seeing a decline in the number of wins and losses they’ll rack up over the course of a career. We’ll never see another 400 or 500 game winner, and even 300 game winners will become scarce. But what story does a won-lost record really tell? It certainly doesn’t indicate how well a pitcher performed. Just ask Ricky Romero, who is currently 5-6 for the Toronto Blue Jays.

In two of those five wins, the Jays score 13 runs. Romero was excellent himself in those games, but really didn’t need to be. In two of his six losses, he threw complete games – albeit in eight innings each, but allowed only five runs combined. Romero had a four-start stretch where he allowed four earned runs combined. Only twice this season in 13 starts has he pitched poorly enough to deserve losses, yet he’s under .500 so far. Despite his record, he holds an incredible 3.18 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP. Opponents are hitting .239 off of him and he has 75 strikeouts to 30 walks in 87.2 innings pitched.

By the end of the 2010 season, the Jays staff featured Romero, Shaun Marcum, who was the Opening Day starter, Brandon Morrow, whose fastball consistently reaches the high-90s, Brett Cecil, who lead the team with 15 wins and Kyle Drabek, son of former NL Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek. Yet it was Romero whom the team promoted in the offseason. Since September of last year, Marcum was dealt to the Brewers, Morrow started the season on the disabled list, Drabek leads the Major Leagues in walks and Cecil is in Triple-A trying to figure out his mechanics.

That leaves Romero who, despite his record, is pitching like he’s worth the contract given him to buy out his arbitration years last summer. He was the 2011 Opening Day starter and has been more than impressive considering he’s only 26 years old. Romero has shown an ability get out some of the best hitters in the league – thanks largely to a devastating change up. As the Blue Jays continue to build a core of young players, Romero figures to become an every day leader of the future, despite only working once or twice a week.

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