Marcus Stroman built on a strong finish to 2016 to become the Blue Jays' staff ace last season after Aaron Sanchez battled persistent blister problems. Rather than leaning on his cutter as an out pitch as he had earlier in his career, Stroman instead increased the usage of his fastball and slider, with both pitches yielding favorable results. Stroman's diverse arsenal kept hitters off balance and generated plenty of weak contact, with his 62.1 percent GB% pacing all qualified pitchers. His ability to induce groundouts and avoid the home-run ball offers optimism that Stroman will remain an asset in ERA, despite his meager strikeout rate and the 3.90 FIP he posted in 2017 pointing to some regression in that area. Since Stroman is just 26 years old, it wouldn't be unprecedented if he added more strikeouts to his ledger to stave off an ERA decline, but his approach worked so well for him last season, it seems unlikely he would deviate from a successful formula.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed Sunday that Stroman (shoulder) is tentatively in line to start the Blue Jays' fourth game of the season April 1 against the Yankees, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. With the inflammation in his throwing shoulder having since subsided, Stroman took the mound for the first time this spring Saturday, tossing two scoreless innings in an exhibition against the Canadian Junior National Team. According to Chisholm, Stroman said after the outing that he was pleased with his changeup and sinker and expects his slider to improve in his subsequent spring starts. Because he remains further behind his rotation mates in terms of his innings progression, Stroman isn't under consideration for the Opening Day nod, but his availability for the team's first series means that the Blue Jays won't require a temporary starter in his stead.
Stroman (shoulder) said he expects to pitch in the season-opening four-game series against the Yankees, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Stroman, who has been slowed in camp by a bout of shoulder inflammation, said he felt physically strong after tossing a pair of scoreless innings in his spring debut against the Canadian National Junior team Saturday. While he's already been ruled out for Opening Day, the 26-year-old righty is expecting to make his season debut April 1, the team's fourth game of the season.
Stroman (shoulder) will make his spring debut Saturday, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports. Stroman is scheduled to pitch a few innings against the Canadian National Junior team, a natural progression from his successful bullpen session Monday. The 26-year-old has already been ruled out for Opening Day, but a return within the opening four-game series against the Yankees is not out of the question, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. An updated timetable is likely to become available following Saturday's outing.
Stroman (shoulder) has been ruled out for Opening Day, but he could still pitch during the Jays' season-opening four-game series with the Yankees, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. On a positive note, Stroman felt great after throwing a bullpen session Monday. The Jays didn't announce a replacement for Stroman in the season opener, and an updated timetable for his return should materialize after he begins pitching in game situations during the final two-plus weeks of spring training. If Stroman misses enough time to temporarily open up a rotation spot, Joe Biagini appears to be the frontrunner to pick up any available starts.
Stroman (shoulder) moved to long toss Saturday and will throw a bullpen session at some point within the next few days, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. Stroman said that he felt great and had no issues during his third straight day of throwing the ball around. Manager John Gibbons remarked that the right-hander is not entirely starting from scratch since he's been able to throw since January, which leaves the possibility that he will be ready for Opening Day. Expect a clearer picture of his timetable after he's able to go through the bullpen session early next week.