Inching towards mediocrity.


Rookies of the year.

Well.

Rookie Ricky Romero (11-6) has been officially awarded a permanent spot in the Blue Jays starting lineup next season. With an ERA of 3.95 in 22 starts, the current Rookie of the Year hopeful has made a very impressive debut in the majors, and certainly deserves the chance to join veterans Roy Halladay and the returning Shaun Marcum in the bullpen next year. Now, who will fill the other two spots in the five man rotation, remains a mystery.

The current crop of candidates, as I see them, are a trio of rookies, and the seemingly perpetually disabled Dustin McGowan. Last season, McGowan was forced to call it quits with season ending shoulder surgery. While he was expected to return this season, more surgery was required to repair articular cartilage damage in his knee. Since then, I’ve heard very little about McGowan’s progress, or future with the franchise. If he’s able to start again next season, than I would assume he would take the fourth spot in the rotation, leaving only one spot left to fill. However, I’m not very confident on his return; which, of course, leaves it up to the rookies.

Scott Richmond (6-8), Brett Cecil (6-3) and Marc Rzepczynski (2-4) have all played reasonably well this season. Not quite up to par with Romero or the veteran Doc, but it’s a helluva leap from Triple A baseball to the Majors, and they’ve all managed to acquit themselves to the leap rather nicely. Rzepczynski (who I think I’ll just refer to as “Zepp”) in particular has made a nice impact, really showing off his stuff in his last few starts. In fact, very few of these pitchers losses can be attributed directly to them. Again, as I said before, the slumping offense has certainly taken it’s toll, and doesn’t give the pitchers much breathing room for mistakes.

At this point I honestly can’t say who they’ll go with. If I had to speculate, I suppose I would probably go with Zepp and Cecil, simply because they’re younger. But, what do I know?

As for Romero, he’ll be starting tonight against the formidable New York Yankees, to kick off a four game series with the MLB leading team. Hopefully he can do some damage to Jeter and Co. with able support from the offense; the season may be drawing to a close, but we still have a few things to look forward to. And a Rookie of the Year award for Romero is definitely one of those things.

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