For a minute last night I could have sworn that Ricky Romero’s jersey changed from #24 to #32.
I could have sworn that he was 15 pounds heavier, 6 inches taller, and threw with his right hand instead of his left.
That’s because last night the transformation was nearly complete – Ricky Romero is the new Roy Halladay.
Coming into 2011 Romero was considered the staff ace, and while it’s true that his career stats show that he has ace-type quality, he was really the ace by default. With Halladay and Marcum gone, Romero, with his 61 career starts, was believe it or not the longest tenured Blue Jay starting pitcher. He was the rightful heir of the ace label, if only because nobody else deserved it.
But Romero has taken it and run with it. The stats are incredible:
91 strikeouts – 8th in the AL
1.20 WHIP – 17th
2.98 ERA – 10th
2 complete games – T4th
12 Quality Starts – T4th
7.98 K/9 – 13th
And just like Halladay when he was a member of the Blue Jays, his win total is low: 6.
Think of that for a minute. Ricky Romero has 12 Quality Starts but has won only 6 of them. In fact, Romero has actually been tagged with a loss in four of his QS.
Watching the Jays flail away at Tim Hudson last night reminded me very much of when was Doc was here. Halladay would lose when he pitched a complete game. He would lose games 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, games that Toronto could have (and probably should have) won.
Things are no different for Ricky. Romero so far this year has lost seven games. In those seven losses, the Jays have scored a total of 8 runs. EIGHT!!!! That is an average of just over one per game, meaning that the only way Romero registers a win is if he shuts out the opposition. (And even that wouldn’t be good enough considering Toronto has been shut out three times).
To this point of the season, Romero’s luck is actually worse than Halladay’s was. Look at the Wins to Quality Starts ratio for each pitcher.
2005 – 85.7%
2006 – 84.2%
2007 – 76.2%
2008 – 86.9%
2009 – 77.3%
2009 – 81.3%
2010 – 70%
2011 – 50%
It has been a steady downhill trend for Romero, frustrating considering how well he’s pitching.
When you’re only winning half of the games that you likely deserve, there really is only one thing to say: