BOSTON -- Ricky Romero's stint with Triple-A Buffalo has gotten off to a rough start.
Toronto's former ace made his debut with the Bisons on Saturday night and saw his prolonged struggles on the mound continue. He surrendered six runs on 10 hits while walking five in 3 2/3 innings.
Romero's outing came just three days after he was optioned to the Minor Leagues on the heels of a disappointing outing versus Tampa Bay, and pitching coach Pete Walker believes the quick turnaround could have played a role.
"I think any time anybody has [gone] from the big leagues to the Minor Leagues, it's always a letdown," Walker said. "Those Triple-A hitters can swing the bat. I mean, there's a lot of good players down there, and I'm sure most Major Leaguers can attest to that.
"You think you can just go out there and do what you need to do, but they swing the bat, and they can put you in some tough situations."
For now the Blue Jays won't read too much into the results as they give Romero some time to adjust to his new surroundings. That will change in the near future as the club continues to evaluate his refined mechanics.
With the altered delivery, Romero is no longer bringing both hands above his head during the windup. He is attempting to pitch with a more direct line to the plate while also trying to stop throwing across his body as much as he did.
The changes have been described as relatively minor, but it's clearly taking some time for them to be properly implemented.
"No, they're not extreme," Walker said. "I mean, it's really direction. He's moved his foot in line to home plate about 12 to 14 inches over. It's an adjustment, but it's not like we're changing arm slot and changing major things.
"It's an undertaking, though, don't get me wrong. I still think it takes a lot of work and time. But I think, you know, he's made a commitment to it, and I think still in the long run, it's better for him. It's just a matter of him getting results."
Melky battling through hamstring issues
BOSTON -- Though Melky Cabrera has yet to miss a game this season, he continues to be plagued by hamstring issues in both of his legs.
Cabrera has been able to remain on the field but clearly has been affected by the nagging injuries. His range in left has been limited, and his ability to run the bases has been well below average.
The Blue Jays have attempted to give him some rest with occasional starts at designated hitter, but with both Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion splitting time at DH and first base, it's easier said than done.
"My legs are a little sore," Cabrera said through interpreter Luis Rivera. "My hamstrings are a little tight, but I'm going to give it whatever I have that day. I want to be in the lineup every day, no matter what. That's why I continue to play."
Despite the lingering soreness, Cabrera has begun to show some signs of life after a poor start to the year. He is hitting .311 with a .771 OPS with five RBIs and four extra-base hits this month.
That's a rather drastic improvement over his incredibly poor production during April. He began the year hitting just .241 with a .578 OPS in 27 games.
"I'm feeling better," he said. "I'm showing up early every day to get my work done in the cage, and I'm going to go out and continue to play hard.
"Nothing has changed. Nothing I'm doing different. I'm just continuing to work, and it's paying off now that I'm putting more work into it."
Blue Jays accessorize with pink on Mother's Day
BOSTON -- Several of the Blue Jays donned pink for Sunday afternoon's game against the Red Sox as a way to celebrate Mother's Day.
J.P. Arencibia, Jose Bautista, Emilio Bonifacio, Adam Lind and Melky Cabrera were among those who wore pink sweatbands and/or batting gloves to promote breast cancer awareness.
The MLB initiative started in 2006 and continues to grow each season, with a large group of players doing their part to drum up support.
"I think, obviously, it's great to pay tribute, not to just my mom but the meaning behind the color for breast cancer," Arencibia said. "There's a lot of people in this world that unfortunately have to deal with that, and anything we can do to help out and bring awareness to it is necessary."
Arencibia's mother was there for his first Major League game -- a two-homer performance against the Rays on Aug. 7, 2010 -- and she has been a frequent visitor to Rogers Centre over the past few years.
This Mother's Day started just like any other for Arencibia, as he made sure to check in with his mom before taking the field for Sunday's series finale.
"I called her in the morning; she was getting ready to watch the game. It was good to get a win for her," Arencibia said after his club's 12-4 victory. "I'll call her again in a little bit and see how her day is going."
Right-hander Chad Jenkins was able to give his mother a special gift earlier in the week, when he received a surprise promotion to the Majors. He got the start on Sunday after Brandon Morrow was scratched from his scheduled outing because of soreness in his upper back.
For Jenkins, Mother's Day served as a welcome distraction in the morning prior to making his season debut.
"I think it hit me this morning. I woke up and called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day," Jenkins said. "We weren't even talking about baseball. I wished her happy Mother's Day, told her I loved her. Then I hung up the phone and I was like, 'Oh, I have to pitch at Fenway in about three hours.' That's when it really hit me. I started to get a little nervous."
Jenkins responded to the pressure just fine, allowing just two runs on seven hits while striking out two en route to his first victory of the year.