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Ricky Romero says his elbow feels “100 times better”

Feb 14, 2013, 6:34 PM EDT

Ricky Romero AP AP

After finishing sixth in the AL with a 2.92 ERA in 2011, Ricky Romero endured a nightmare campaign last year in which he struggled to the tune of a 5.77 ERA and 124/105 K/BB ratio over 181 innings. While the drop-off was alarming, it was somewhat explained when the southpaw had an elbow cleanup in October and received platelet-rich plasma injections in both of his knees. Now he’s hoping for a big bounce back year.

According to Gregor Chisholm of, Romero threw off a mound several times before reporting to Jays’ camp and can already feel the difference with his elbow.

“It feels 100 times better,” said Romero, who avoided the DL in 2012. “I wasn’t able to rotate [the elbow] at one point, I was so sore at the end of the year. That’s when I decided we should get it checked out. Right now, it feels great, pretty much back to how it should feel.

“The knees have been a work in progress. I think that’s been the toughest part, that tendinitis doesn’t go away easily. We’ve been hitting it hard every day, I’m here getting treatment, doing the small things, foam-rolling, stuff like that, just to kind of get them ready every day.”

Encouraging news for a team who clearly sees an opening in the AL East. The Blue Jays strengthened their rotation over the winter by adding R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, but getting a healthy and effective Romero back would be the equivalent of another significant offseason addition.

  1. nbjays - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Nice to hear about his elbow feeling 100 times better. Now he just needs to get his confidence 100 times better and shake that tendency to lose his cool and implode when he starts to lose the strike zone. I am hoping for the 2011 Ricky to return this season.

  2. proudlycanadian - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Great news. Casey Janssen also reported that his repaired shoulder felt fine when he threw today. Both Romero and Janssen had operations during the winter and seem to be on schedule to play important roles in the upcoming season.

  3. cur68 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    He just needs to be better than he was last season. With that rotation ahead of him and that lineup supporting his cause, he can do a Jack Morris for this season and he’ll be cool. If he grows a moustache perhaps we can cite “pitching to the score”.

  4. jaysfan64 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Romero’s “annus horribilis” in 2012 was necessary in his maturing process…kudos to him, cause he took the ball every five days and win, lose, good start, bad start, whatever the case he was there answering questions, not ducking the media, being accountable…he admits he could have handled the elbow issue differently and will in the future, should similar issues come up…this guy is just too good to tank, so I see a good comeback season coming, barring injury…

  5. paint771 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Agree with my Jays boys above. Even if Romero regresses to the mean, that’s a pretty damn good fifth starter. And if he winds up approaching 2011, well hell. And, if on the outside shot he completely implodes, we’ve still got another pretty decent fifth man waiting in the wings

    But Ricky’s too much of a competitor to go out like that, and I think last year WAS good for him (and good that it happened in a season of no note so it’s not like he was dogged the way Boston’s pitchers were. I do give the Jays credit for playing him and letting him work through, and ultimately I think he’ll put it together. It was always a stretch to call him a top of the rotation guy, although he’ll have some sparkling stretches, but again, Ricky Romero is our FIFTH starter this year. I’ll take that all damn day long.

  6. jaysfan64 - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    He doesn’t have the added pressure of being the “ace” and “leading the staff”…so he can just go out and do his thing…and paint is right – he just might end up the best “fifth starter” in the majors…

  7. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    except another 5+ ERA from Rickey and he will have company this year with Buehrle getting trashed in the AL East. As a matter of fact i fully expect Buehrle to play “1” season with the jays and he will be traded after the off season when it becomes painfully obvious he has no business trying to pitch in the AL east and he will be traded away to some NL team for very little. Johnson is just gonna sit on the DL like he always does so that will be 3/5’s of their rotation up in smoke. Will it really matter what the other two do? Not really, expect another 4th place finish, 3rd at best.

    • abaird2012 - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Does anybody know why Harry hates the Blue Jays so much? No, really … I’d be fascinated to hear. Does he miss Vernon Wells or something?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        jaysfan64 is right, i hate everyone

      • cur68 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:48 PM

        Once, when ‘harry was a small primate and still new in the chimp cages at the zoo, he was handed some crack by a crackhead. Since he was still working on his formative skill, poo flinging, he wasn’t real comfortable with the crack and tried to use it as a practice “round”. Sadly, due to bad aim, he wound up throwing the crack and some of his other ammo, into his own mouth. This is why, to this day, he talks shit like he’s on drugs.

  8. jaysfan64 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Harry is an equal opportunity hater – he hates everyone…

  9. jaysjunkie - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    I’m still mystified and as to why Romero pitched through these physical issues that he insisted weren’t there all season long. I can understand and respect (to a certain degree) an athlete for being a gamer and not putting the blame for a bad season on any undisclosed injuries, but Romero’s performance apparently pitching injured hurt the team and, more so, himself. This is a guy who is his own worst enemy when things are going badly and one would think it’s gonna be a bit of a long haul back for the guy confidence-wise. Jays’ management doesn’t look very good in all of this either IMO.

    If Romero can have a season with a 4.00-ish ERA and 12-14 wins then I’d call it a good bounce-back year.

    • Joe - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      I agree. It’s always mystified me why a guy gets such kudos for playing *poorly* while injured. Sure, you’re a gamer, but if you are hurting the team while trying to play through injury, that’s not good.

      Granted, the Jays were bad last year and they were digging deep to find healthy guys to take the mound, so perhaps Ricky Romero wasn’t hurting them so much. But if a guy playing for a contender is hurt and as a result playing worse than a healthy backup would – is he really helping the team if he keeps the injury to himself? He deserves a pat on the back for this?

      • jaysjunkie - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        That is a good point, about them needing arms due to all the injuries. Still, I’d rather the team was digging up someone from A ball to take the mound for a bit instead of running Romero out there to get shelled once again later in the season.

  10. jaybird22seven - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Ignore dirtyhater !!!!

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