Blue Jays moves: Romero down, Gonzalez designated, Ortiz and Storey up

Tom Szczerbowski

The Blue Jays made a few roster changes on Thursday, bringing two "new" faces to the pitching staff.

The Toronto Blue Jays made a series of roster moves on Thursday, optioning Ricky Romero to Triple-A, designating Edgar Gonzalez for assignment, and purchasing the contracts of Ramon Ortiz and Mickey Storey, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Romero was called up a week ago to replace injured starting pitcher Josh Johnson. Romero is a former ace who posted a 2.92 ERA in 2011. His last season and Spring Training this year were so bad that he was actually sent all the way to High-A to work on command issues.

He did not do much to redeem himself in two starts this season. In his first start, he pitched just four innings and allowed three runs on three hits and three walks. He made a second start Wednesday night but secured only one out before being pulled from the game after giving up three runs on four hits and two walks. According to ESPN, that was the quickest hook a Blue Jays pitcher has received since 2001.

Gonzalez was called up Wednesday when J.A. Happ was placed on the disabled list. He pitched 4.2 innings piggybacking on Romero's start that night and allowed five earned runs.

Ramon, 40, is a veteran starting pitcher in his first year with Toronto. He made one major league appearance earlier in the season, pitching 3.1 innings in long relief. He has made three starts in four appearances in Triple-A this season, posting a 2.18 ERA

Storey, 27, spent significant time in Toronto's bullpen last season, throwing in 26 games and compiling a 3.86 ERA and 1.220 WHIP. In nine minor league appearances in 2013 he has a 3.63 ERA.

For now, the Blue Jays have just R.A. Dickey, Mark Buerhle, and Brandon Morrow on their starting pitching depth chart. Morrow's next start may be pushed back a couple days as he is dealing with neck spasms, meaning the Blue Jays could need a new starting pitcher as soon as Friday. The good news is Toronto has two off days coming up, meaning they could skate by with four starters.

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