KANSAS CITY -- The adjective "wise" is usually applied to someone with decades of experience under his belt. Not a 27-year-old.
But that was the case Friday, when Ricky Romero spent some time with Drew Hutchison ahead of his first Major League start against the Royals on Saturday. Romero shared some of his experiences with the 21-year-old pitcher.
"Any time you have your peers able to impart some of their experience, many times it resonates deeper than what myself or [pitching coach] Bruce [Walker] or any of the coaches can provide a young player," manager John Farrell said before Saturday's game. "They're the guys they dress next to. They're the guys that they'll go out and compete in between the lines with. I'm sure in some ways it's not only a similar message, but it might have a whole lot more meaning, and in some ways be a little bit more comforting."
Looking back, the Blue Jays' other four starters all pitched well in their first career starts, with no one giving up more than three runs.
Brandon Morrow made his first start in 2008 with Seattle, defeating the Yankees and allowing just one hit over 7 2/3 innings. Romero made his first start against Detroit in '09 and picked up a win. Kyle Drabek debuted in 2010, and, despite losing the game, allowed just three runs in Baltimore. Henderson Alvarez debuted last August, getting a no-decision over 5 2/3 innings against the Athletics.
Romero recalled what he could remember from his first career start.
"Just waking up in the morning. It was a day game. Just being there and not knowing what to expect really," he said. "Even though I had seen a few games before my start, you still wake up with butterflies in your stomach and it kind of hits you right at the moment that you're making your Major League debut, and you're in the big leagues. There was nothing like it. I had my whole family there, which was even more special. Definitely one of those days you'll never forget."