Let’s go ahead and pencil in the Blue Jays as the 2015 AL East champions.
Marcus Stroman was absolutely terrific on Wednesday night against the Yankees, yielding just five hits and a walk over seven shutout innings as the host Jays rolled to a 4-0 victory. They’re now 3 1/2 games up in the division standings and threatening the Royals for the best record in the American League.
Stroman has a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings (three starts) since joining the Toronto rotation on September 12 after a five-month rehabilitation from a torn ACL in his left knee.
The offense has been league-best all year, and now the Blue Jays have a young starter who looks locked and loaded for the biggest of stages. It’s not all about the bats anymore.
Toronto might be your World Series favorite.
From beat writer Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com’s Nats Insider …
Ryan Zimmerman’s attempt to return before season’s end continues, but the Nationals first baseman continues to feel a pull in his strained left oblique muscle when he tries to swing, reducing his chances of making that return.
Zimmerman has been taking swings in an indoor cage at Nationals Park over the last few days, but they have not been pain-free workouts.
“Still feels it, unfortunately,” manager Matt Williams said Wednesday. “So, it’s light in the cage. It’s fungo and tee work, a little bit of soft-toss. He’s trying to work through that part of it and get ready to go. But he’s day-to-day still. That’s the best way we can put it.”
Zimmerman has appeared in only 156 games over the last two seasons.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old is still owed $60 million.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss announced Wednesday at Coors Field that 23-year-old right-hander Jon Gray has been shut down for the remainder of the 2015 season after hitting his designated innings limit in his last start Monday against the Pirates.
The news comes from beat writer Nick Groke at the Denver Post.
Gray struggled in that outing versus Pittsburgh, yielding nine hits and five earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings as the Rockies fell 9-3. He’ll finish up with a 5.53 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, and 40/14 K/BB ratio over his first 40 2/3 major league frames.
Gray, the third overall pick in 2013 out of the University of Oklahoma, entered the 2015 season as a consensus top-25 prospect. Baseball Prospectus had him 13th overall in their preseason rankings.