In 2012, Ricky Romero was the opening day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2013, he will begin the season with Class A Dunedin Blue Jays.
After winning 15 games and being named to the AL All-Star Team in 2011, Romero started 2012 strong with an 8-1 record. However, he developed control problems and lost 13 of his final 14 decisions. Romero led the AL in walks last seasonwith 105.
His control problems continued in spring training. The Jays initially planned to have Romero be the team's number five starter but with J.A. Happ having such a strong spring they opted to place Happ in the rotation while sending Romero down to Dunedin just as they did with Roy Halladay back in 2001. Although Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was quick to note they were looking to correct a minor flaw in Romero's delivery whereas Halladay had a complete overhaul in his pitching mechanics.
Still, it has to be a kick in the pants to the Jays southpaw. One year, you are at the top of your craft. The next, it's as if you don't how to walk. Of course, in Romero's case, walks are what he wants to avoid.
As my sister says, "Baseball can be a very sad game."