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The Season That Was: Ricky Romero

Ricky Romero came into 2011 as our number 1 starter. In 2010 he had shown us that his rookie season was no fluke. 

Our preseason predictions for Ricky were pretty uniformly optimistic. My guess:

I'm thinking more like 16-9, 32 starts, 220 innings and a 3.80 ERA.

His actual numbers:

2011 - Ricky Romero 15-11 32 32 4 2 0 0 225.0 176 85 73 26 80 178 2.92 1.14

His ERA was a lot better than I figured. Fangraphs has him at a 2.9 WAR, giving him a value of $12.9 million for the Jays. 

Ricky's strikeout rate was down a bit from last year, 7.12/9 from 7.46/9. His walk rate dropped, 3.20 from 3.51. He game up more home runs 1.04/9 from 0.64/9. He threw half as many wild pitches, 9, as in 2010. I wonder if that had more to do with him or with the catchers.

His BABIP against was a lot lower than in 2010, .242 compared to .289, but then he gave up fewer line drives,14.2% from 18.2%. He had about the same about of ground balls, 54.7% from 55.2%. He had more fly balls 31.1% from 26.5% and more of those flies left the park, 13.2% from 9.4%, which explains the extra home runs.

His FIP (4.20) and xFIP (3.80) were both much higher than his ERA. 

Ricky had more success against right-handed hitters (.194/.263/.325) than lefties (.269/.372/.462), a pretty huge reverse split. Gotta like that changeup.

He was slightly better at home (.208/.290/.344) than on the road (222/.302/.384).

Ricky by month:

April: 2-3, 3.00 in 6 starts. Batters hit .228/.290/.376.

May: 3-1, 2.73 in 5 starts. .214/.292/.359.

June: 2-3, 2.50 in 5 starts. .229/.312/.321.

July: 1-2, 4.31 in 5 starts. .248/.350/.380.

August: 5-0, 2.05 in 6 starts. .160/.259/.347.

September: 2-2, 3.32 in 5 starts. .223/.283/.410.

Romero's longest win streak was 6 games. Longest losing streak was 3 games. His best Game Score was an 85, August 18 against the A's, 3 hits, complete game shutout with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. His lowest Game Score was a 20 on July 6 against the Red Sox: 4.1 innings, 9 hits, 6 earned, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts. 

Ricky has improved each season since his rookie year, but improving on this season will be pretty tough, his 2.92 ERA was 6th best in the AL. Add in that it would be tough to duplicate the .242 BABIP against. But it has a great work ethic and he is driven to be the best he can be. I'd bet last year won't be his last All-Star appearance.