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Romero removed from 40-man roster

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SAN DIEGO -- Another chapter has been written in the unfortunate saga of former Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero.

Romero was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo Saturday afternoon to make room on the 40-man roster for Ramon Ortiz. The fact that Romero was outrighted to the Minors means he passed through waivers without any of the other 29 Major League teams deciding to claim him.

The lack of interest doesn't exactly come as a surprise considering Romero is earning $7.5 million this season with another $15 million on the way through 2014-15. Romero can be added to the 40-man roster at any time, so Saturday's decision by the club doesn't have that much of an overall impact.

"I would hope this wouldn't bother him, it's just a paperwork move they need to do to clear a spot," manager John Gibbons said. "If he's pitching well, the same thing will happen to somebody else, it's not like it's going to keep him from getting to the big leagues. I would hope he wouldn't look at this the wrong way, it was just a necessity."

Romero made another appearance for Buffalo on Saturday night and got off to a rocky start. He allowed five runs through four innings before finally settling down and finding a groove. He retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced and didn't throw more than 12 pitches in an inning over that span.

The 28-year-old Romero finished his outing after six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out three. The most positive aspect was that he didn't walk a better although he did throw three wild pitches.

Despite the somewhat ugly pitching line, it will be considered a step in the right direction considering Romero entered that start with 20 walks and just 20 strikeouts in four appearances for Buffalo. His journey to find his previous form continues and the hope is that Romero will ignore the fact he was outrighted and focus on what he can take away from Saturday's performance.

"Everybody's scrambling for answers," Gibbons said of Romero, a 2011 All-Star. "Everybody's pulling for him. He has been a good pitcher for the organization and we're hoping there's more in there, he comes back and picks up where he left off. Everybody feels for him, everybody loves him, he's one of those guys you root for.

"Any time in this business you see someone go through the ups and downs like that -- and his is to the extreme now -- you feel for them. I don't care what side you're on, because everybody knows what it takes to get to this level. So you got to have some sympathy for the guy."

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.

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