Tag: Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman
AP Photo

Marcus Stroman goes five innings in rain-shortened return


Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman made his 2015 debut on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium in the second game of a double-header, but it was cut short by rain. The right-hander went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. The game went into a delay after the top of the fifth inning with the Jays leading 6-3.

Stroman, 24, suffered a torn ACL in March and shortly thereafter underwent surgery. He impressed as a rookie last season, compiling a 3.65 ERA with a 111/28 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings spanning 20 starts and six relief appearances.

The Blue Jays selected Stroman in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2012 draft. He entered the 2014 season rated as the 27th-best prospect in baseball, per Baseball Prospectus.

Marcus Stroman is getting closer to rejoining the Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman throws during the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Marcus Stroman was originally thought to be lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during a routine fielding drill in early March, but he has made amazing progress in his rehab (even finishing his degree at Duke University along the way) and there’s now a good chance he’ll be pitching for the Blue Jays this month.

Stroman made his first minor league rehab start Wednesday night with Class A Lansing and he showed no signs of rust at all, tossing 4 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. He walked one batter and struck out seven while throwing 44 out of 69 pitches for strikes. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The plan calls for Stroman to throw a bullpen session Friday before making another rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo on Monday. He’s slated to rejoin the Blue Jays from there, likely as a member of the starting rotation, which would be quite a boost for a team which has been rolling since late July. According to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca, Stroman is understandably amped up at the propsect of playoff baseball.

“It just shows that all the hard work paid off. Nobody puts higher expectations on me than myself; and no one has more confidence in me than myself,” Stroman said. “I’m more motivated and more hungry now than I’ve ever been. And I’m ready to get back to the big leagues and contribute to this unbelievable team and to get to the playoffs. I’m ready to do something special.

Stroman, 24, posted a 3.65 ERA and 111/28 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings over 20 starts and six relief appearances as a rookie last season.

Ben Lindbergh of Grantland wrote an excellent piece about the science behind Stroman’s rehab. It’s well worth checking out.

Marcus Stroman feels “great” after a simulated game; could start a rehab assignment soon

Marcus Stroman

Jon Morosi reports that Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman reported feeling “great” after throwing a 40-pitch simulated game today. He’ll throw another one on Friday and, assuming all is could, should be cleared to join Buffalo for a minor league rehab assignment.

Stroman has missed all season after tearing his ACL in spring training. He was thought to be gone for the year, but he’s rehabbing more quickly than expected. Which could be a big deal for the Blue Jays, who could use last year’s rookie sensation as either a starter or as a secret weapon out of the pen down the stretch or in the playoffs.

Not a lost season? Marcus Stroman could return from torn ACL to pitch for Blue Jays in September

Marcus Stroman

Toronto made a blockbuster deal for David Price at the trade deadline to anchor the pitching staff and now the Blue Jays may be adding another top-of-the-rotation arm to the mix.

Marcus Stroman, who had a fantastic rookie season in 2014 and was slated to be the Opening Day starter before suffering a torn ACL during spring training, is close to beginning a minor-league rehab assignment with an eye toward pitching this season.

He was initially expected to miss the entire year, but Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Stroman has recently been throwing from flat ground and could be cleared to begin a rehab assignment as soon as August 21.

Whether that would leave him enough time to build up the arm strength necessary to start games for the Blue Jays in September and potentially October remains to be seen, but at the very least a late-season bullpen role seems possible.

Stroman posted a 3.65 ERA and 111/28 K/BB ratio in 131 innings as a 23-year-old rookie, averaging 94 miles per hour with his fastball and allowing just seven home runs in 534 plate appearances. Regardless of the role, if healthy Stroman has the ability to make a big impact.

2015 Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

John Gibbons

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Toronto Blue Jays.

The Big Question: Is it going to be all-mash, no-pitching for the Blue Jays once again?

The Blue Jays made some intriguing additions this past offseason. They signed Russell Martin. They made a couple of key trades in acquiring Josh Donaldson and Michael Saunders and, according to some, made some additions by subtraction in getting rid of Colby Rasmus, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind. Now, leaven your excitement at least a little here given that (a) Melky Cabrera also left, and he’s been a big contributor (as was Lind last year for that matter); (b) Russell Martin’s 2014 was his best offensive season ever and, coming as it did at age 31, it’s not likely to be replicated at age 32; and (c) Saunders has battled injury all spring and, frankly, all career, so expecting him to be an impact player is not the safest bet ever. But those caveats aside, this is a team that should, once again, be one of the most mash-happy offenses in baseball. As it has been for the past several years.

The knock on the Jays those past several years, however, has been that the pitching staff has been mashed in return. Toronto had one of the worst AL staffs in runs allowed and homers allowed in 2012 and 2013 and, while it took a moderate step forward in 2014, it was only moderate. And the most promising part of that improvement came from Marcus Stroman, who tore his ACL early in spring training and will be gone for the year. Add that to a bullpen which was near the bottom of the ladder last season and didn’t really improve in the offseason, and it seems like the Jays, for all of their changes, stood mostly still this past offseason.

Not that that keeps them out of contention, of course. They won 83 games last year in a league where 88 wins got you into the Wild Card Game. The AL East, as we’ve noted several times this spring, is something of a crap shoot. And, as we’ll note below, the Jays have a couple of intriguing dice they’re getting ready to roll.

But if you are a betting man, it’s hard to look at the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays and see anything radically different than what you’ve seen in the past: some big bats, some holes in the bottom of the lineup and a lot of question marks with the pitching staff. That’s the sort of thing that makes a gambler want to hedge his bets.

What else is going on?

  • The impact of the Stroman loss is so, so big. With R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle getting long in the tooth, Stroman’s electric stuff looked poised to put him at the top of the Jays’ rotation. Now his transition into ace-hood is delayed a year, and the bottom half of the Jays’ rotation is filled with uncertainty. But it’s worth noting it’s not without promise: Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris are two rookies with oodles of talent and each will get a chance to stick there all season. Still, rookies are rookies and sometimes rookies take some time to adjust. If Sanchez and Norris do — or if innings limits or what have you limit them at some point this year — the starting pitching depth available to John Gibbons is less-than-stellar.
  • The bullpen has some issues of its own. Saying bye-bye to last year’s closer Casey Janssen is no big tragedy — the guy was falling off — and replacing him with strikeout machine Brett Cecil is an upgrade. Beyond him, though, it’s not a scary bunch of relievers. Marco Estrada and even Johan Santana could be contributing here. That is if they aren’t pressed into duty as starting pitching reinforcements. Not exactly encouraging.
  • For all of the thump (Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson), on-base ability (Russell Martin) and table setting skills (Jose Reyes) near the top of the order, there are some question marks farther down. Another pickup from Seattle was Justin Smoak. He and his career line of .224/.309/.380 is the starting first baseman. There is some promise at second base with Devon Travis — picked up in a steal from the Tigers last year — and center field with Dalton Pompey slated to start. But each are young and unproven, so you have to expect some sort of growing pains here.
  • Indeed, there are all kinds of youngins being paired with oldins here. Norris, Sanchez, Travis and Pompey as mentioned, but also some bullpen arms like Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro are all embarking on rookie seasons. Sometimes youth can inject vitality. Sometimes youth can induce some frustrating slaps to the head. John Gibbons’ biggest job this year will be getting out of the way of the former and limiting the damage from the latter.

Prediction: It’s not hard to write a story of the 2015 Blue Jays in which Reyes and Martin are on base for a lot of those Bautista, Encarnacion and Donaldson homers, Dickey and Buehrle show that they still have something left in the tank, the young arms of Norris and Sanchez surprise and the young bats of Travis and Pompey don’t embarrass themselves. It’s not hard to tell another story, however — a quite familiar story, actually — in which the Jays mash but the pitching stinks and they find themselves in either third or fourth place, depending on whether the Yankees crater. I’m going to take a pessimistic approach here, because the Jays have not exceeded expectations in some time and say Fourth Place, American League East. It’s up to some young guys to prove me a fool.