DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Ricky Romero's third start of the spring didn't exactly go as he would have hoped on Saturday vs. the Tigers.
Romero, who is coming off a disappointing season, showed flashes of his 2012 form by struggling to control his fastball. He threw just 27 of his 47 pitches for strikes, while issuing three walks in two innings.
Toronto's No. 5 starter appeared somewhat uncomfortable on the mound at times, but Romero said after the game he was feeling OK physically and that he was just rushing too much.
"Early right now in spring, I'm overthrowing it a little bit and coming out of my delivery -- instead of being nice and smooth," Romero said. "Especially when you're ahead of the hitter, you can't walk guys like that. You can't walk guys period -- but especially when you're ahead in the count."
Romero was scheduled for three innings of work, but had to be pulled after two because of a high pitch count. He did get ahead of some hitters, but had difficulty putting them away. That's disappointing, but not necessarily overly alarming -- because he is throwing almost exclusively fastballs and changeups at this point.
The other pitches will come at a later date. But following a season in which he walked 105 batters in 181 innings, the priority has to be consistently commanding his fastball down in the zone before moving onto everything else.
"I'm not going to get frustrated over this," said Romero, who went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA in 2012. "If it starts happening during the year, obviously you have to look for it. I'm not going to get frustrated in the spring. If I'm going to make the mistakes, I'm going to make them now -- and that's all there is to it."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.