Throughout his late-season swoon this year, Ricky Romero handled himself well; facing the media after every poor start, refraining from any epic temper tantrums, even being the go-to guy when it was celebrity-opening-pitch time, like when Wayne Gretzky took the mound at the Rogers Centre on Monday.

So it was a bit surprising to see the fourth-year Blue Jay go on the defensive on Wednesday when asked, given his second-half slump, where would he expect to find himself in the rotation next year.

"If you guys are dictating my future on one year, then I think a lot of people have it all wrong," said the 27-year-old lefty, his indignation rising. "I know where I stand, I know what I can do."

Heading into the 2012 season, where Romero stood was a no-brainer. He was the club's ace, a 2011 all-star with a 15-11 record and 2.92 ERA. Now there are no guarantees that he'll be even at the top of the rotation for the 2013 season given his track record of the last three months. Romero started the 2012 campaign 8-2, but through July, August and September, went 1-12. On top of that, GM Alex Anthopoulos said Wednesday that the starting rotation will be his top priority in the off-season and he expects to spend a good portion of the extra money Rogers gives him on the rotation.

"We just need quality," Anthopoulos said. "And if we can go get five front-of-the-rotation guys, we're certainly going to do it. You look at the best quality you can get. That's what it's going to come down to. The rotation needs to get better. Absolutely, major additions. We're not close to where we need to be."

Anthopoulos is banking on Romero bouncing back. But after watching his ace struggle over the last three months, AA admitted that he doesn't really have a handle on why Romero's performance went south, but it's something the organization will definitely explore in the weeks ahead.