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  1. I think it was clear to almost anyone who knows anything about baseball that this guy is/was not an ace. Sure doesn’t stop him from thinking he is one though which combined with Arencibia’s claim to be a top 10 MLB catcher can make any Blue Jay fan want to throw their remote through the TV.

    Comment by Matt — June 27, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  2. A 1 MPH drop in average fastball velocity is not that minor. I wouldn’t discard it so quickly as a possible cause.

    Comment by Oscar — June 27, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  3. I’d have given it more time and attention if he didn’t pitch better than he has this year with less velocity than this in 2010. But you may be right that it’s a big deal this year.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — June 27, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  4. Should I drop this guy now for Kuroda, Masterson or Liriano?

    Comment by Ron — June 27, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  5. Exactly. A 1 mph drop doesnt seem significant, but when the range on average fastball velocity is only about 89-96 mph that 1 mph represents more than a 10% decrease

    Comment by cs3 — June 27, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  6. Should have been dropped for Kuroda yesterday, Masteron today, and Liriano tomorrow.

    Comment by jevant — June 27, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  7. Liriano.

    Comment by walt526 — June 27, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  8. not an ace? what is your definition of ace? im pretty sure the red sox, orioles, indians, royals, twins, marlins, mets, astros, cubs, reds, DBacks, padres, and rockies would all call Mr Romero their #1 ace.

    pretty sure you dont go 15-11 with 2.92 and 1.14 WHIP, 3 CG, and 2 Shutouts in the AL East if you are not an ace.

    hes only 27 and this is his 3rd/4th year in the league. guess you dont think clayton kershaw is more than just a top 10-15 SP then too?…

    Comment by Chris — June 27, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  9. I think you’re on the wrong site. His win-loss record and ERA are irrelevant.

    Comment by Matt — June 27, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  10. Jays fans cling to the idea he is an ace, you’ll get heat for this, even though it is 100% correct.

    Comment by Nik — June 27, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  11. Just to speak for my team… you can have Romero. We’ll keep Johnny Cueto and his tidy HR rates, thank you very much.
    And secondly, my response to you even mentioning Romero and Kershaw in the same sentence: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

    Comment by big red machine — June 27, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  12. well, they weren’t technically in the same sentence but you know what I mean…

    Comment by big red machine — June 27, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

  13. He has Steve Blass syndrome.

    Comment by jesuscristo — June 27, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  14. i wouldn’t drop him for any of those 3 yet.

    Comment by Jason — June 27, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

  15. “Best pitcher in the staff” and “Ace” aren’t the same thing.

    Comment by Uh Oh Cordero — June 27, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  16. If/when the Blue Jays can make Romero there #3 starter (with a healthy Morrow #2) they will be a serious contender. AA has to be thinking the same thing but not sure if this is the year to empty the cupboard for that starter. Hopeful they take a long look at Greinke or Hamels this offseason.

    Comment by ALEastbound — June 27, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  17. That leaves the question, “Would either of Hamels or Greinke take a long look at a Blue Jays offer?”

    Comment by Mr. Disgruntled — June 27, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  18. I just answered this same question on CBS Sportsline. Same Guy? I like Masterson for his stability & Liriano for his K’s. I don’t care for Kuroda but he’ll get you wins.

    Comment by Just Jim — June 27, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  19. Jays operating under payroll parameters. Will not sign Hamels or Greinke.

    Comment by jesuscristo — June 27, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  20. Yup. Same guy. Building up the nerve to can him…

    Comment by Ron — June 27, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  21. Lumping all Jays fans into 1 statement is pretty rediculous. Go visit the jays message board and the only people that consider Romero to be an ace are the drooling RBI lovers. Those of us with sabermetric understanding were pretty confident he was due for regression in his “traditional” stats.

    The culprit of his woes this year from having watched him seems to be his fastball command, he’s just not getting ahead in the count with it which makes it very hard for him to use his changeup effectively.

    Comment by Johnhavok — June 27, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  22. Did anyone watch the game?

    Gamescore showed a lot of questionable balls during that first inning.

    That error should have been an inning ending double play as well.

    Comment by PeterC — June 27, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  23. Was looking at some pitch/fx stuff on brooksbaseball earlier today about Romero, and one of the main difference I saw is that what they register as a “sinker” has been thrown something like 11% less this year, and considering the amount of balls the pitch accounted for, it seems understandable. His 4-seam fastball also seems to have lost some vertical movement to go along with that dip in velocity, so that might explain some things as well since, according to the site, he’s increased the 4-seam’s usage by about 7%.

    Comment by KDizzle53 — June 27, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  24. Any thoughts on Samardizja’s continued decline (including today’s blow-up)?

    Comment by supershredder — June 27, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  25. That is of course if you even believe that. They have spent more in the past and they will spend more in the future. It’s only a rule until it gets broken.

    Comment by dgapa — June 27, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  26. I see his pitch type profile has changed – dropped his slider usage by 7% and increased his cutter by 6%. That same slider garnered a 5.6 pitch value rating last season.

    Comment by supershredder — June 27, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  27. So, “horse” is bad, I take it. But “stud” is good! And so is “thoroughbred”… I think. What about “gelding”?

    Comment by Big Daddy V — June 27, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  28. if you want to measure pitchers by W/L–and let’s be clear…you shouldn’t– 15 and 11 is pretty from from “ace” territory.

    Comment by ccoop — June 27, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

  29. even ignoring the occasional miscalls by the ump (and there were a fair bit, I admit), he still pitched like crap.

    Comment by Eric — June 27, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  30. He’s the kind of guy you can build an organization around.

    Comment by Sutcliffe — June 27, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

  31. Oh boy…. Please tell me you didn’t just lump him together with Kershaw. If this guy is an ace then there are a lot more aces in MLB than i originally thought. Sheesh.

    Comment by nilbog44 — June 27, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

  32. When Roy Halliday hit the mound for the Jays, THAT was an ace. Romero has yet to show me that he is of that calibre of a pitcher. And no I’m not just saying that because he shit the bed today. He has just never given me that warm fuzzy feeling of a near guaranteed win that Halliday once did.

    Comment by Mick1296 — June 27, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  33. “only 27” and mentioning his W/L record aren’t used much on here. Probably shouldn’t be either. At 27, that means he probably won’t get any better. In fact, he’ll likely get worse.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 27, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  34. What’s the error rate of a radar gun though? If the gun’s accurate up to .5 MPH, and was really say .3 slower than the gun said and now he’s really .5 faster than the gun says on average, that shortens the gap a lot.

    So yea, while 1MPH is over 10% of the range, the input might not be the most accurate either.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 27, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

  35. So what you are saying is that the Toronto Blue Jays are a professional sports franchise?

    Comment by Jays2010 — June 27, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  36. Man a lot of clueless fans have been flooding on Fangraphs lately. Are you high? A truly useless comment.

    Comment by Samwell — June 27, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  37. “Horse” is OK, I think. Short for “workhorse,” which you can see how it differs from “stud” and “thoroughbred.”

    Comment by matt w — June 27, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  38. I sense animosity towards Romero – did you all have him on your fantasy teams expecting he’d have a better year?

    Comment by Larry — June 27, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  39. But he’s 8-1!

    Comment by Jack Morris — June 27, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  40. He should probably stop throwing cock shots to middle of the order hitters. that’d probably help.

    Comment by a — June 27, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  41. I get why people on this site don’t care about win loss record for a pitcher, but what’s wrong with ERA? And what do u use to measure how good a pitcher is? Thanks

    Comment by Don Draper — June 27, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  42. ERA is better than wins. People use:
    – FIP (fielding-independent pitching) neutralises a pitcher’s BABIP, because most pitchers cannot control the distribution of hits they give up. It only counts strikeouts, walks and home runs: events where the fielders are not involved.
    – xFIP neutralises a pitcher’s home run per fly ball rate, it uses Ks, BBs, and flyball percentage.
    – SIERA takes the inputs of FIP (Ks, BBs, HRs) and adds a pitchers’ groundball %, line drive %, and fly ball %. The idea is that a groundball pitcher with equal K, BB, HR rates should give up less runs (both because of double-plays and because GBs don’t go for extra bases) than the flyball pitcher.

    This is only for small samples, like half a season. Over a bunch of years, or a career, just go ahead and use ERA. The “luck”, things like bloop hits falling in, or guys clumping hits together, balances out.

    Comment by CJ — June 28, 2012 @ 6:51 am

  43. Romero is fine. When he starts pitching as bad as a Red Sox starter then I’ll be worried. Of course we don’t see any FG articles about Red Sox players struggling. Literally, ever. And every FG writer picked them to win 120 games and sweep the postseason. Why am I the only one who sees this?!

    Comment by everdiso — June 28, 2012 @ 7:42 am

  44. I was wondering when you’d show up to troll this one. It had “everdiso is going to say something ludicrous” all over it.

    Now, on to the meat:

    “When he starts pitching as bad as a Red Sox starter then I’ll be worried.”

    Only two Sox pitchers to draw a start this year with a worse FIP than Romero right now are Cook (Across all of two starts) and Buchholz (Who has been vastly outperforming Romero since his last May start). Per the inclusion of Cook, that includes even spot starters like Morales and Matsuzaka (Yes, Matsuzaka is out-FIP’ing Romero right now). Troll harder.

    Of course we don’t see any FG articles about Red Sox players struggling.


    “Why am I the only one who sees this?!”

    Because you’re making it up.

    Comment by Jonathan — June 28, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  45. He has shown ace stuff, and I think the potential for acedom is there. The regression in command/control makes him clearly not an ace, and that will be the biggest hurdle for him ever to become one.

    Comment by Jeff Reese — June 28, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  46. lol jonathan methinks u just got had

    Comment by sooted72 — June 28, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  47. I’m a diehard Jays fan since day 1 (I’m old, I know) and I can assure you that we do not think Ricky’s an ace. Our last ace was Halladay. Ricky developed quicker than envisioned and is arguably our most talented pitcher. (BTW 15 wins in the AL East = 20 wins in the NL Central.) Not many teams have a true ace including some contenders. We’re aware of this. We’re Canadian – not stupid.

    Comment by Linz — June 28, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  48. Don’t feed the trolls!

    Comment by Linz — June 28, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  49. it’s not a decline–he had a few performances early on this year that were not in line with anything he’d ever done, some people bought in, then he proceeded to pitch like jeff samardzija. he’s only “declining” if you thought his first 5 starts were his true talent level

    Comment by juan pierres mustache — June 28, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  50. Yeah, his WFF blows…

    Comment by Brandon — June 28, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  51. I definitely wouldn’t that it’s a matter of expectations. The walk rate is up, the K rate is down, the first pitch strike % is 3rd worst in the majors. He’s falling behind everybody, he’s unable to fool opposing hitters, and he’s walking or giving up a ton of hits.

    This isn’t a case of expectations at all. If he pitched like he did last year a 3.75 ERA would have been what I expected. But every time he’s falling behind hitters and getting hit hard, and that’s completely different from last year. A 3% drop in K% and 4% jump in BB% is huge.

    Comment by Mark — June 28, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  52. Definitely wouldn’t argue**

    Comment by Mark — June 28, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  53. The funniest thing about that is that Beckett piece features everdiso complaining because apparently Dave’s not being negative enough about a Red Sox player.

    Comment by Jack — June 28, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  54. This idea of an ace is pretty stupid to begin with, but wouldn’t you think the “Ace” would start the 1 game playoff if everyone was available Chris? Farrell hinted earlier this season that Morrow would pitch that hypothetical game and it would be the right call.

    Comment by Zach — June 28, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  55. One thing that really worried me about Romero, was his interview before the game. He sounded completely dejected about his previous outings. Came off as completely depressed to me, with absolutely no confidence. Wasn’t surprising he started the game with 6 straight balls. After he was pulled, he looked like he was hopeless, as if we thinks he’ll never be a good pitcher again. You can read whatever you want into his stats (either normal or sabermetric, or whatever), but the fact of the matter is, this guy has absolutely no confidence right now. Sure, when he’s confident and throwing strikes, he’s really good (not sure about Ace, but whatever), but I think the Jays really need to consider getting this guy a good psychologist right now.

    Comment by Glenn Jamison — June 28, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  56. An ace is an elite pitcher, not merely the best guy on a team. Saying “he’s their ace” doesn’t make him an ace. Good results do

    Comment by PeteJohn — June 28, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  57. Jonathan, doesn’t Bard have a much higher FIP than Romero?

    Comment by vivalajeter — June 28, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  58. I had him last year expecting a worse season, if that counts. :)

    Comment by B N — June 29, 2012 @ 2:18 am

  59. You’ve got to be kidding.
    red sox – im sure they’d take Lester over ricky.
    marlins – josh johnson
    cubs – Garza, maybe Dempster.
    DBacks – I’ll take their whole rotation over Romero.
    Reds – Cueto, Latos.
    Mets – Dickey, one of the best pitchers in the game right now, heard of him??
    Orioles – Hammel pitching much better.

    Truly idiotic comment.

    Comment by Jordan — June 29, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  60. I don’t know what you’re talking about, viva, Bard is a catcher for the Mariners.

    There is, nor has there ever been, a Red Sox starter by that name.

    (I forgot about him, but yes, he counts)

    Comment by Jonathan — June 29, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  61. Though Cook has since surpassed Romero since the initial posting, so there’s that I suppose.

    Cook has managed to compile 0.3 WAR (Across three starts), which is identical to Romero (Across 16 starts).

    Comment by Jonathan — July 2, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  62. He’s simply getting hit harder. His LD% is up 5% from last year, he’s always been one of the best SP in terms of getting weak contact. Although last year does look like the outlier, he did alter his pitch selections a fair bit, favouring the FB on more occasions. Like a few have mentioned before, the slight decrease in average velocity could be allowing hitters to square up the ball more often. That being said though, I feel like with Ricky’s skillset, he’s going to outperform his FIP most of the time.

    Comment by seb — July 2, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  63. Ricky romero had a very bad catcher who only hits homers and strikes out with a batting average below .200 so it’s not completely his fault.

    Comment by andrew — April 10, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

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