It's been a long time since I read this to one of my kids, but I did think of it today. Apparently you can have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day even in Florida.
Like we talked about yesterday, Ricky is trying to fix his mechanics. To that end he pitched in a minor league game today. You do have to expect a bad time of it when a player is changing how he does things, I don't know if you'd expect it to be this bad:
Change is tough. Ever tried to change your golf swing? It takes forever to change muscle memory. I don't know if he can do it in the 10 or so days until the season starts. Ricky seems to think it can be done:
I really get the feeling he's going to start the season in Buffalo, but I'd imagine that will be decided later. John Lott says that Alex Anthopoulos almost hinted that Ricky might not start with the team:
In the past the GM had always said no. This time, at the end of a meandering reply in which he said Romero remains in the rotation, Anthopoulos finished with this: "The plans are still the same, but just like anything else, you constantly evaluate."
I would think the worry is that until he has some success, there is no proof that this change in mechanics is the cure all. I'm thinking he isn't all that terribly broken. He pitched well in August last year, holding batters to a .229/.343/.288 line, even if he was 0-4 in 5 starts. September was awful, but good isn't that far back. He should be able to find what he had then.
Lott goes on to suggest that the 'low-pressure' minor league environment, might not have been as low pressure as hoped, with Alex and other front office people watching, and both Pete Walker and Pat Hentgen there. Ricky must be feeling the pressure.
Speaking of Pete Walker, Gregor Chisholm tells us,. he had this to say:
"It was a tough outing," pitching coach Pete Walker said. "I thought he started off well, a couple of seeing-eye ground balls -- which could have easily been ground-ball outs, which would have been nice to start the day. But it didn't go the way we anticipated.
"Initially, I think he made some strides with the delivery. The subtle changes he's making are a work in progress, and today, in that first inning, I thought it was a step in the right direction, and just the results weren't very good from the second through the fourth inning."
I feel sorry for Ricky, he's a hard working, he's serious, he cares about improving. I'm hoping it will all come together for him, but I don't have a lot of faith that it will happen in the next 10 days.