Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are aligning pitching prospect Marcus Stroman’s next start to that of Dustin McGowan. It could be a sign that Stroman, who turns 23 years old on Thursday, could make his Major League debut soon. Stroman will pitch against the Louisville Bats in Triple-A on Tuesday, the same day McGowan pitches against the Royals.
Getting his first taste of Triple-A competition, Stroman has a 2.18 ERA with 26 strikeouts and six walks over 20 2/3 innings. Stroman was rated the #27 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus entering the season.
McGowan, meanwhile, has not fared well in the Jays’ rotation. In four starts, the right-hander has a 6.88 ERA.
Davidi writes Stroman’s debut could come as early as May 4 in Pittsburgh, but there’s obviously nothing written in stone at the moment. Manager John Gibbons said of the situation, “we’ll see.”
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.