With the most productive offseason in the last 20 years, it’s doubtful that the Toronto Blue Jays could have imagined that they’d be in their current predicament. Highlighted primarily by the acquisitions of starting pitchers, Mark Buerhle, R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson, General Manager Alex Anthopolus most likely felt fairly secure in the fact that the team’s starting rotation, now anchored by the aforementioned trio, was an aspect of the 2013 Jays that didn’t warrant any major concern.
For today’s series opener against the visiting Seattle Mariners (13-17) however, the Blue Jay’s desperation will be on full display as former ace, Ricky Romero (0-0), will make his first major league start of 2013.
Romero, who made his only start of the year for minor league affiliate Dunedin (high A) last Saturday, has been called upon to replace starter Josh Johnson (0-1), 6.86 era, who was has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his right triceps.
Opposite Romero will be Seattle’s current ace Felix Hernandez (3-2), who through six starts this season has a very respectable 1.89 earned run average in just over 42 innings of work.
Although the Blue Jays had planned on calling up Romero at some point this year, the team was forced to pull the trigger early in order to not only replace Johnson, but also to hopefully give the team a much needed boost of energy that could break the Blue Jay’s current run of just two wins in the last ten games. Romero pitched seven innings of shutout ball on April 27 in his first start of 2013 against Brevard County and was in the process of reworking his mechanics in hopes of a successful return to the majors later this year.
Romero was an All-Star in 2011 and although he posted a [9-14] record with an era of 5.77 in 2012, many feel that he is still capable of being an All-Star once again. Over a four-year career that began in 2009, Romero owns a [51-43] record with a era of 4.09 and 617 strikeouts.
For the second game of the weekend series with the Mariners which takes place on Saturday, R.A. Dickey (2-4), 4.50 era, will face Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) who brings with him an impressive 1.67 earned run average.