Blue Jays demote ex-ace Ricky Romero

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero was sent to the Blue Jays' minor-league camp Wednesday, ending his bid for a rotation spot.

Romero gave up three runs, three hits and five walks in 22/3 innings Tuesday against the Tigers. He walked 10 in 92/3 spring innings overall.

Romero, 29, was an All-Star in 2011, when he was sixth in the AL with a 2.92 ERA. But his ERA soared to 5.77 in 2012, and last season he posted an 11.05 ERA in four games.

"Ricky made great progress this spring," manager John Gibbons said. "Going in he had an outside shot if it all came together."

The Blue Jays also sent RHP Marcus Stroman to minor-league camp, meaning RHP Drew Hutchison likely has pitched his way into a starting role. Hutchison, 23, has had a solid camp in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.

GAME DETAILS: RF Jose Bautista homered twice in an 11-6 win over the Phillies. LHP J.A. Happ, who is competing for a rotation spot, struggled, allowing three runs, three hits and four walks in 22/3 innings.

Phils: Hamels happy

DUNEDIN — Phillies LHP Cole Hamels came out of his bullpen session feeling confident, and he soon could throw batting practice.

Hamels threw 40-plus pitches in the morning session and is scheduled to throw BP on Saturday. He's working his way back from biceps tendinitis and is expected to open the season on the disabled list.

"It went really well," Hamels told mlb.com. "I'm pleased, being able to build my pitch count, getting the reps I need. I was able to get a lot of pitches out of the stretch, and I introduced the windup, which I haven't done since last year."

GAME DETAILS: Former Rays RHP Roberto Hernandez gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 32/3 innings in the 11-6 loss to the Blue Jays. "He didn't quite have his two-seam fastball working," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Yankees: Old friends

KISSIMMEE — Yankees C Brian McCann returned to the Braves' complex at Walt Disney World for the first time since signing a five-year deal during the offseason.

McCann spent nine years with the Braves, making seven All-Star appearances. He has fond memories of his time in Atlanta.

"I didn't come here for any reason but it was good to see the guys," McCann said. "I am very grateful to the Braves. They made me the player I am today and I loved my time here."

GAME DETAILS: RHP Ivan Nova pitched two-hit ball while working into the seventh inning for the first time this spring in New York's 7-0 win. Nova didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a runner past second base.

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: at Phillies (ss), 1:05, Clearwater

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: (ss) at Astros, 1:05, Kissimmee; vs. Blue Jays, 1:05

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Tonight: at Red Sox, 7:05, Fort Myers, ESPN

Blue Jays demote ex-ace Ricky Romero 03/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:07pm]

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