For Stroman and Romero, the move came this morning after their disastrous outings against the Tigers yesterday. The club, however, is still high on Stroman. I overheard Pete Walker‘s scrum with the media (Note: I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t turn on my recorder) this morning and he reiterated that the club felt that yesterday’s shelling by the Tigers was a speed bump on his way to the majors. Walker said that it was the first time that he thought Stroman lost his focus on the mound but noted that it was better to be hit hard than to lose his control and walk batters. While some people had anointed Marcus Stroman the team’s great hope for the 2014 season (I was waffling on the fence for a while), after seeing some of his outings, I think that a few months in Triple-A can’t hurt him. He has shown this spring that his location tends to creep up in the zone and, as it has been pointed out (even by Walker), Stroman needs to live down in the zone in order to be a successful major league pitcher.
For Romero, the lack of control was the familiar problem that he’s been able to avoid so far this spring. That said, Romero has had a couple of outings that were fairly strong and he seems to be taking baby steps to rebuild the fallen, Humpty Dumpty-like remnants of his career. With all the moves they’ve made so far this spring geared towards keeping as many of the out-of-option pitchers as possible, it was a no-brainer that Ricky, who isn’t on the 40-man roster and can simply be reassigned to a minor league club without exposure to waivers, was going to have to be the guy he was in 2011 in order to make the Blue Jays out of spring training. We’ve seen flashes of that guy but without consistency, there was just no way that he was going to go north with the Jays.
John Stilson, after yet another scoreless inning of work to close out today’s ballgame, was sent back to minor league camp. I actually spoke to Stilson before the game (yes, I recorded that) and he was very happy with the way his spring was going but saw the writing on the wall in terms of realistically being able to secure a roster spot on the Blue Jays. He told me, “If I get a chance to go to Toronto, that’s great. If not, I’m fine going back to Buffalo, getting better and learning more and more to where I will be able to get a chance.” He characterized the Blue Jays’ bullpen as one of the “three best bullpens in the big leagues” and is looking forward to the time when he’ll be able to be a part of it.
Thanks to John Stilson for interview and I’m looking forward to seeing all three of Stroman, Romero and Stilson in Buffalo this season.
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