According to a report, Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Ricky Romero underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left elbow, and he received platelet-rich plasma injections in both knees to help him recover from quad tendinitis.
The report also noted that Romero will need six weeks to recover from the elbow operation, so his status for spring training will not be affected.
Although it is never good news when one of your top starting pitchers goes under the knife, the fact that such an operation was needed demonstrates that Romero was not healthy during the 2012 season. This can provide relief to Blue Jays fans who had reason to be concerned at Romero's performance in the just-concluded season. Romero, considered the ace of the Jays' starting staff heading into the season, finished an extremely disappointing 9-14, with a 5.77 ERA in 32 starts. Most concerning was Romero walking 105 batters in 181 innings, while only striking out 124.
Now realizing that Romero was pitching hurt, these numbers become explainable when they previously had not been. The lefty could be considered one of the most disappointing pitchers in all of baseball this year, but it is tough to hold it against him knowing that he was taking the hill with elbow and knee issues.
The best news is that Romero wasted no time in having the procedures done. Because he got the elbow operation so quickly after the conclusion of the season, there is no doubt that he will be healthy and ready in time for spring training. Although he will likely not be the ace of the staff heading into next season, as he has been surpassed by Brandon Morrow in that regard, a bounce-back season by Romero would be a potential catalyst to lead the Blue Jays on a playoff run.
Likely aware of the injury issues hampering Romero, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos expressed little worry about his status in the rotation next year, as he was reported saying that Romero's position in the rotation next season was locked (along with Morrow's).
At first glance, it seemed like a curious move for Anthopoulos not to leave open the possibility of Romero having to earn his job in the spring. Now that the truth about his health (or lack thereof) is known, the statement is understandable. Romero has proved that, when healthy, he is one of the best young pitchers in the game. The Ricky Romero we saw struggle through 2012 was not healthy.
Considering this, I have faith that Romero belongs at the top of the Blue Jays' rotation in 2013, and that he is an early candidate for AL Comeback Player of the Year.Related Content From This Contributor:
Del Pearson has been a big Blue Jays fan since seeing the team's best prospects come through Auburn and Syracuse as a child. You can follow Del on Twitter @DelPearson2.
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