Dunedin, FL – Ricky Romero has been on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays' last two season openers. This year, he won't even be on the team's initial roster.
The Blue Jays optioned the slumping left-hander to Class A Dunedin following Tuesday's spring training game in an effort to allow Romero to work out his lingering control issues.
Romero won a combined 42 games over his first three major league seasons, but slipped to a 9-14 record and a career-worst 5.77 earned run average while walking an American League-high 105 batters last year. The former first-round pick's command problems lingered into this spring, as he issued 10 free passes and posted a troubling 6.23 ERA in just 13 innings pitched.
The 28-year-old labored through another outing on Tuesday, walking three over 4 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh.
The move locks J.A. Happ into Toronto's fifth starter's role heading into the upcoming regular season.