My, oh my, how far Ricky Romero has fallen.
Less than two years removed from being the Toronto Blue Jays' staff ace and an American League All-Star who posted a sub-3.00 ERA, Romero now finds himself starting the 2013 MLB season with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
Nonetheless, Jays fans shouldn't be too worried about Romero and his future with the organization.
In fact, the Jays once before treated a promising young pitching prospect in much the same manner.
When Roy "Doc" Halladay was struggling earlier in his career, the Jays sent him down to Single-A Dunedin to work out the kinks in his pitching mechanics. Now, nearly a decade later, Halladay is one of the most successful pitchers in all of MLB.
Now, I'm not implying that when Romero returns that he'll all of a sudden turn into a Cy Young-type pitcher, but there is reason to believe that he can return to his 2011 form.
Furthermore, in the article linked above, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos mentions that what the organization is expecting from Romero during his stint in the minors is much less dramatic.
The fact that the demotion was all the way to Single-A is also something that shouldn't have Blue Jay fans worried.
Having players who are either struggling with mechanics or rehabbing an injury start at Single-A is common practice. It's the easiest place for players to be able to work on their problems without being too detrimental to their minor league team's success.
The fact that Dunedin is also where the Jays play their spring training games and Romero wouldn't have to head all the way to New Hampshire or Buffalo after spring training is an added benefit.
In the end, while there is definitely some cause for concern, having Romero sent to Single-A to start the 2013 schedule isn't nearly as bad as it may seem.
Keep in mind that once players find a way to snap out of their funks and make the necessary adjustments to their games, the path back to the major leagues may only require a few starts (a few weeks in the case of a starting pitcher).
If all goes according to plan, it wouldn't be unrealistic to see Romero back in Toronto some time in the next month or two.