Anthopoulos talks Romero/Happ and second base

On Romero’s Minor League outing…

“At times the stuff was good but inconsistent again. A lot of the same type of things that we’ve seen. At times you’d see good curveballs and changeups and a good sink. I think in the first inning he was pretty solid, balls weren’t hit really hard … It has been similar. We just obviously need to try to get him back on track and be right.

“We’ve seen that over the course of spring and there are other times he has been in the zone and stuff is good. We’re working to get him back on track, we’re going to keep going.”

More on Romero’s struggles…

“I think the performance last year, we’re trying to get him back on track. That’s always been the game plan. Obviously he wants to get back on track as well. You can never dictate when it’s going to happen, when it’s all going to come together.

“You’ll see flashes, you’ll see glimpses but it’s just for him putting it together from a consistency standpoint. We’ll just continue to work at it.”

On Romero’s adjusted mechanics and whether they carried over into the game…

“I thought the first inning, delivery, he was being on line, things were a lot better. These aren’t major, it’s more his lines to the plate, his balance, his delivery, there are times you can see he’s trying to guide the ball and he’s not really letting the ball go. It takes time to repeat it, to get back on track.

“Overall, the first inning, I said his lines looked better, he wasn’t falling off as much, there wasn’t a whole lot of hard contact and his stuff was still good. Balls up in the zone, you walk a guy or two, that’s when things get out of whack for him.

“It’s all about command. With Ricky, it has never been stuff. We’ve all seen it. He sinks the ball, does all of those things, it’s just the walks, the stats, that has been the issue. It’s a matter of trying to get him back into the strikezone, when he’s in the strikezone his stuff can play with anybody’s.”

Is it possible that Romero would work through those issues in the Minors or does he still have a guaranteed job?

“We haven’t talked about it at all. Obviously we evaluate it start by start. We’ve said we have our five starters, he’s one of our five starters. As we go through it, the first conversation I’ve had about it is right now.

“I’ll talk to Gibby, talk to Pete, we’ll talk to the player as well. We haven’t had any change of plans, the plans are still the same but just like anything else you’re constantly evaluating.”

Sounds like you’re saying the Minors is an option for him…

“I’m not because we haven’t even talked about it. Right now, our plans haven’t changed. I just got done seeing the performance and just giving my first thoughts but we haven’t even talked about it yet. Right now, everything is still status quo, we’re still on course to have the team we were planning to have.”

On going into the dugout to talk to Arencibia and Walker after Romero’s outing…

“I can’t do it during the game, but in a Minor League game it’s easy to do it. You’re asking about the action, the lines, this and that, what did they think and so on. We’re not getting into it, it’s just really quick, two seconds, how did he feel? He felt good. That’s pretty standard. The first question is how does he feel. He feels fine. You want the results to be better, that goes without saying, that’s all you’re doing at the end of the game.”

On whether it’s possible the changes will just ‘click’ and Romero will find himself again…

“I think the fact that he has done it three years in a row, it can be back at any time. He can be back in the zone. Even last season, as rough of a year that it was, it was late in the year, the start in New York in July, he was great. That’s what I would have thought, it’s clicking, it’s back, it was an outstanding outing for him and then obviously he reverted back. I think it’s shown that at any time it can click.”

On whether he’s had a sit down with Happ…

“I’ve talked to J.A., he knows he doesn’t need to request meetings. It’s one of those things, we talk all of the time. Talked to him in the offseason. I’ve talked to J.A. plenty. I think with J.A., we talked at the beginning of Spring Training, said look this is the game plan. Obviously we’ll see what happens at the end of spring training but this is what the game plan is.

“Like anything, until the roster is final, because we told him, right now it could be long guy, it could be optioned, it could be anything. I think it’s like any player at this stage that’s competing to make the team, where do I stand and do I have a shot? Until we make the decisions we don’t really have clarity one way or the other. I’ve talked to J.A. on and off a lot of times. He’s fine.”

So you’ve talked to him this spring…

“Yeah. I know it was made to be a story like there’s a big sit down or something but it’s not like that at all. J.A. knows his circumstances. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t really have a choice in it. He has options remaining, it’s the way the rules work.

“Like I said before, the day J.A.’s happy to pitch out of the bullpen or pitch in the Minor Leagues something’s wrong. Same thing with any one of our players, if they’re an everyday player or if they’re happy to not have the greatest role that they can, those aren’t the types of guys you want. That’s standard, that’s completely expected.”

Thoughts on the competition at second base…

“It would not surprise me if at the end of the day those guys share the role. I think it’s going to evolve. One thing we’ve talked about, you’re going to get more defense some Izturis, maybe when you have someone you think is going to put the ball on the ground a little bit more maybe Izturis plays.

“Depending on who’s on the mound, who you’re up against, you’re going to mix and match. Lawrie’s going to need a day, Reyes is going to need a day and with some of the left-handers as well. I think there will be enough playing time for both guys. I don’t believe at this stage one guy is going to have the job 140-games plus. It can evolve, someone could run away with it, but they’ve both played well.”

9 Comments

Pingback: How much longer can Blue Jays stick with Ricky Romero? | HardballTalk

I’m at Spring Training in Dunedin. Seen Romero twice and JA Happ twice. From what I’ve seen on performance, Happ has the 5th starter position hands down. I’ve seen both Isturis and Bonifacio. I like Bonifacio’s bat, his potential to steal. Maybe Isturis has better range defensively. What a luxury to have 2 back-up infielders with talent like this. They will be needed in the 162 game season. Bring it on. GO JAYS GO! Dan the man

For my money i am in favour of sending Dustin down to 3A in go into the starting staff in the hopes of him being able to win a stating spot next year or add to his trade value. If this means risking his loss on waivers, so be it. we are not doing him any favours by keeping him in mop up. He needs to work in the rotation at his price tag. He needs to work on arm strength after his long injury.
Of all the bench players i value Chopper Kawakasi the most for 3 reasons. Speed, Speed and Speed. Who do you want out there a second with the tieing or winning run at a pinch runner.

Brett Laurie should go to 3A to get his batting average up to major league standard. He need special instruction at opposite field hitting. There is no doubt that he has the power inside but he must learn to hit down on opposite field shots to create the line drive or ground ball. It will improve his ave 100 points and cause him to get many more inside pitches. He also needs to work on playing 3rd, ss, and 2b. The idea should be to get him ready for a full shot at one on those positions for next year. Bret is only 23 and is at least a year in advance of the normal. He has the drive and ambition to be a great Blue Jay. If not, he represents major trade value.

Rickey Romero need to come up Imediately, It is only 5 weeks to go before trade deadline and the Jays need to have him assesed at the Major League level to give him trade value or to keep him. leave specific instructions with his catcher, and him that he is to put the particular pitch that the catcher will call, where the catcher sets the target. He has five good pitches and he is only 28 years old with at least 6 years of up side. The Blue Jays do need a cf with range and an arm, a contact hitter with a left or Switch bat for the 2 hole. Cobie Is a power bat for the 6 to 8 hole who needs to play left or first if he is to be a regular. Perhaps a package, at the deadline might solve the problem. I do not believe that Ghost will be ready for next year. Nor am i convinced that Moises is ready.

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