Friend of HBT Emma Span makes her Sports On Earth debut on the day that Sports on Earth debuts. She’s the “Video Killed the Radio Star” of the online sports world.
Her topic: Roger Clemens’ return to baseball with the Sugar Land Skeeters. You should read it all because she’s a great writer, but if you take nothing else away from it, take this:
As the team’s name indicates, the Skeeters are far from the majors in both attitude and talent. (In honor of the Rocket, they postponed Saturday’s scheduled promotion, in which “Human Fireball” Ted Batchelor would set himself aflame and round the bases, until Sept. 8).
I’ve seen Roger Clemens pitch hundreds of times. I’ve never seen anyone round the bases while on fire. I think the Skeeters made a bad call here, folks.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.