Romero still in rotation mix according to Gibbons
Left-hander working to regain command during a tough Spring Training season
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Ricky Romero remains in the Blue Jays rotation, at least for now.
"Nothing has changed," manager John Gibbons said on Friday, when asked about the status of the struggling starter.
The left-handed Romero has had poor command this Spring Training and endured a difficult outing in a Minor League game on Thursday, as he worked on some adjustments to his delivery.
In four Grapefruit League starts, Romero is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA.
"Obviously he had a tough time," said Gibbons, who did not see Romero pitch because he was managing Toronto in a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Thursday. "I guess the first inning they thought he looked good, but the next couple of innings weren't really good. But to be honest he's making some changes and didn't expect it to necessarily happen right away. Hopefully next time it'll be better."
Romero, who was Toronto's Opening Day starter in 2012, struggled last season, and he has been dropped to fifth in the revamped rotation. His first scheduled start in the regular season is not until April 6.
Gibbons feels that Romero has time to make the adjustments.
"I think he can do it," the skipper said. "You never know for sure."
But Gibbons said that he is encouraged by a comment Romero made about his struggles during Spring Training two years ago.
"A couple of years ago he made some adjustments late in Spring Training and then he took off," Gibbons said. "These guys are pros. There's no guarantees. I mean he needs to do it and he knows that."
Catcher J.P. Arencibia feels that Romero still has time.
"You would think so," Arencibia said on Friday. "He did it in Spring Training when he was an All-Star. I remember he had bad starts -- bad starts and his last start at Pittsburgh he dominated and then he went on in the season and became an All-Star [in 2011]. So it's all there. It's part of Spring Training, you're going to take your lumps. I had to deal with it in 2011 when I hit .067 [early] in Spring Training and everyone was like, 'Could he hit big league pitching?' I stunk all Spring Training. Opening Day I hit two home runs. There's a difference, there's a big difference and you have to take it with a grain of salt and know that [Romero] will be fine.
"It's Spring Training, you go through adjustments. I've been there, everyone's been there. All it is, is just getting back [to being comfortable] where he has that confidence of, 'All right, here it goes,' and he's found it again. There's a lot of time left and the guy has been one of the best pitchers in the AL for a few years already."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.