With the continued struggles of lefthander Ricky Romero in the Buffalo rotation, we're thinking that the time has come to promote New Hampshire righthander Deck McGuire to take his place.
Of the seven starts Romero has had in AAA this season, only two could be classed as decent, and even those were marked by control struggles. For the season, Romero is 0-2 with a 6.07 ERA, walking 32 batters in 29 innings. In his last start, he walked 9 in only 2 2/3 innings, and has allowed 24 free passes in his last 14 innings. The Blue Jays may not have treated Romero fairly last year, keeping him back in Florida after spring training broke, then rushing him back to Toronto after one start in High A ball. Sent back to Buffalo, Romero's struggles continued, and 2013 was pretty much a lost season for him.
McGuire, on the other hand, doesn't have a lot left to prove in his third successive stint in AA. 3-4 with a 2.98 for a team that struggles to score runs every night, McGuire has been a beacon of consistency for the Fisher Cats, pitching into the sixth inning in 9 of his 10 starts. The consensus still seems to be that the first round pick in 2011 has been something of a bust, but he has pitched well since last August, and needs to be challenged with a promotion.
We've written about Romero before, and while we admire his determination and his attitude, it's becoming increasingly painful to watch him. He will turn 30 in June, and he's now just a shadow of his 2011 All Star self. McGuire will turn 25 in a few weeks, and maybe it's time to hand him Romero's spot in the Buffalo rotation while Romero works out his issues in the bullpen. Perhaps the only thing keeping Romero on the Buffalo roster is the $7.5 million the Jays owe him in the next to last year of his contract, part of a $30.1 million contract he signed in August of 2010, which didn't seem like such a bad deal at the time.
Last year and in 2012, hitters seemed to have learned to lay off of Romero's change, sitting on his sub-par fastball. This year, he doesn't seem to be able to find the plate, after finding too much of it in the two previous years. We hope for the best for the personable lefthander, who has refused to make excuses for his poor performance, but it's hard to see him turning things around at this point, at least as a starter.