TORONTO -- Left-hander Ricky Romero will make his return to the Blue Jays starting rotation on Wednesday night after being skipped the last turn through.
Romero hasn't pitched since he surrendered seven runs on eight hits in just one-plus innings of work against the Rays on Sept. 2. The organization's hope is that the nine days of rest in between outings will lead to a fresher and stronger Romero on the hill against Seattle.
"His bullpen sessions have been consistent with what he has been doing in the past, in terms of his routine," manager John Farrell said. "But I think more than anything, this is an opportunity to give him a little bit of a physical breather."
The Blue Jays continue to search for reasons behind Romero's disappointing season. The former ace is 8-13 with a Major League worst 5.85 ERA among qualified starters while posting an American League high 90 walks.
The problem is that the numbers don't seem to suggest that Romero has performed any better on extra rest. He has a 4.21 ERA (27 ER/57 2/3 IP) with one additional day, but a 7.52 ERA (17 ER/20 1/3 IP) on two or more.
But if the additional day proves beneficial this time around, then it still could draw some conclusions for the Blue Jays coaching staff.
"That possibly two consecutive years of over 200 innings has a residual effect," Farrell said. "It's not uncommon to see trends start to develop with pitchers. Two very good years, followed by a year in which they can scuffle at times, or go through periods where things aren't as sharp or clicking as they've done previous. We won't know that fully until next year when we see year four following the three-year pattern."
Romero entered this year having thrown more than 210 innings in each of his past two seasons and 178 innings during a 2009 rookie campaign.