Stroman, Romero both looking to stay in the present with the Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Seven years and a world of experience separate Marcus Stroman and Ricky Romero. Stroman, 22, is climbing the Blue Jays pitching ladder. Romero, 29, is trying to find a handle after falling more than a few rungs.

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Seven years and a world of experience separate Marcus Stroman and Ricky Romero.

Stroman, 22, is climbing the Blue Jays pitching ladder. Romero, 29, is trying to find a handle after falling more than a few rungs.

Both left Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with positives Wednesday despite a 5-4 exhibition loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in a game decided by Jerry Sands’ ninth-inning solo homer off Chad Jenkins.

Stroman gave up three runs on five hits in the first four innings, striking out three and walking one.

The good was the first two innings, the bad was a somewhat rocky third salvaged by a spectacular double play courtesy of Jose Reyes and Ryan Goins, and the ugly was a rocket launched in the fourth by Jeremy Moore.

Romero, whose career has staggered from Opening Day starter to professional limbo, gave up one run on two hits while striking out three and walking two in his four innings.

Apart from a hiccup in the sixth, he got the job done. In three outings (seven innings) this spring, Romero has given up just two runs.

“They both did really good today,” said manager John Gibbons. “Ricky’s moving in the right direction.”

Romero was especially sharp in the fourth and eighth.

He opened with two strikeouts and a groundout in a 10-pitch inning. He was slated to go just three innings but went four at the request of pitching coach Pete Walker. Romero made quick work of the Rays in the eighth with a flyout, groundout and strikeout.

Romero saw action in just four outings in the majors last season and has had just about every part of his game put under the microscope. For that reason, he refuses to get ahead of himself these days.

“I’ve been through so much that I’ve learned to stay in the present and not look ahead or not look behind and start overthinking and what not,” he said. “For me, it’s a positive every time I come here and get work done. It feels good, whether it’s in a game, in the bullpen or towel drills (where pitcher throw a towel instead of a ball to alleviate arm stress), or what not, I feel good about myself.

“That’s been the biggest key. Staying in the present right now, not looking ahead. Everything else will take care of itself. All I can do is go out there and pitch and audition,” he added with a laugh.

Stroman wobbled in the third inning when he loaded the bases with no outs on a double, single, and a walk.

A Desmond Jennings bloop single knocked in one run and the Rays scored another through Ali Solis when Matt Joyce hit into the Reyes-Goins double play.

“An unbelievable play,” said Stroman, who then took matters into his own hands.

The five-foot-nine 185-pounder stabbed a hot shot on the mound to escape the inning trailing 2-0.

Jeremy Moore, a 26-year-old minor leaguer, homered off Stroman to make it 3-0 in the fourth with a shot that cleared the 36-foot-high batter’s eye looming behind the centre-field fence 400 feet away. Tampa added another run in the sixth.

Toronto rallied for four runs in the sixth, powered by Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run homer.

“I thought it was better,” Stroman said of his outing Wednesday. “Not exactly where I wanted to be but I definitely made some better pitches than I made in my last outing. My stuff felt better for the most part.”

He was happy with his cutter other than the delivery to Moore, which stayed over the middle of the plate.

“A really bad pitch,” he said.

“He did what he should have done. Hit a long ways,” he added.

Stroman is likely destined to the minors, to gather more seasoning. He declined to bite when reporters quizzed him on whether he is in the mix for one of the openings in the Jays’ rotation.

“I’m not even concerned with that at all,” he said. “I’m trying to get ready for the season, doing everything I can to get my pitches exactly where they need to be so when Opening Day comes, I’m ready to pitch wherever I may be. That’s all I’m concerned about.”

Romero also declined to say where he saw himself on the depth chart.

“You know what? I’m not really worried about it,” he said. “Whatever I do out there is going to dictate my future.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Image from Facebook)
Central Alberta Soroptimists celebrate International Women’s Day

Soroptimist International of Central Alberta will host its first virtual International Women’s… Continue reading

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Olds College logo
Olds College to host free, online agriculture celebration next month

Olds College will host a free live-streamed agriculture event next month. The… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS upgrading online immunization booking tool

Alberta Health Services’ online booking tool for COVID-19 immunizations will be temporarily… Continue reading

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

The Dawe family home in the Michener Hill subdivision in Red Deer. This house was designed and built by Robert G. Dawe, a local engineer, in 1911 and has remained in the family ever since. (Contributed photo)
Michael Dawe: 65 years of Red Deer history

As a major milestone birthday looms, I thought that it might be… Continue reading

Dallas Stars' Mark Pysyk (13) and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) compete for control of a loose puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) grabs a loose puck as Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot (8) and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) battle for the rebound during first-period NHL hockey action Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2021, file photo, Creighton coach Greg McDermott watches the team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Indianapolis. McDermott apologized publicly Tuesday, March 2, for using insensitive language in his postgame locker room talk with players and staff following a loss over the weekend. In a tweet, McDermott said he used a “terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss.” (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

Sean Burke speaks at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The Montreal Canadiens have made another change to their coaching staff, appointing Burke to take over as the director of goaltending. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

The Toronto Arrows line up ahead of their Major League Rugby game in Toronto on April 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson
Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Most Read