Ricky Romero surrendered 17 hits, 10 walks and 11 runs in 13 innings this spring and was not on the Blue Jays’ active roster when camp broke. But his debut Saturday with the Jays’ affiliate in the Florida State League provided a glimmer of hope.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Romero allowed just one run over seven innings at High-A Dunedin, fanning four batters and issuing no walks. He has been working on mechanical tweaks for the past three weeks at extended spring training and it all seemed to pay off for him command-wise in his first start since the 2013 Grapefruit League came to a close.
The No. 6 overall pick in 2005, Romero registered an ace-like 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP across 225 innings in 2011 for Toronto. But he then posted an ugly 5.77 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 181 innings last year.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.