April 8, 2009
Toronto, Canada - Former Cal State Fullerton first-round draft pick Ricky Romero will make his long-awaited major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday (Mar. 9) at 9:37 a.m. PT in the Rogers Centre as his Jays take on the Detroit Tigers in the fourth and final game of the 2009 season-opening series.
When the southpaw throws his first pitch, he will become the 46th major leaguer to have come from Cal State Fullerton's ranks and the first since his former Titan batterymate Kurt Suzuki debued for Oakland on June 12, 2007.
Update: Romero went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs and getting credit for a 6-2 win over Detroit.
In addition to making his big league debut, Romero will be making unique history in his start as he will be facing Detroit Tigers' rookie Rick Porcello, also playing in his first major league game. It marks the first time since the First-Year Player Draft began in 1965 that two first-round selections will be squaring off in their respective major league debuts, and just the 18th game since 1901 in which both starting pitchers will be making their inaugural appearances.
Romero, a native of East Los Angeles, was 30-9 with a 3.15 ERA in his career with Cal State Fullerton and was the 10th first-round draft pick to emerge from the Titan program in the first 34 years of the program at the Div. I level.
Romero's 30 wins ranks 8th all-time in Cal State Fullerton history, and his 311 strikeouts rank 5th all-time. He also ranks in the Titans' career Top 10 in innings pitched (5th, 345.1), starts (t-6, 46), strikeouts per nine innings (t-10, 8.1), strikeout to walk ratio (10th, 3.3:1), and his 22 starts in 2005 tied the school's single-season record.
The 24 year old was the sixth overall pick by the Blue Jays in 2005, and has earned the team's No. 4 starter spot according to manager Cito Gaston. Romero was 8-8 with a 4.55 ERA in Double-A and Triple-A ball last season.