Marcus Stroman to make first major league start for Blue Jays on Saturday

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Sportsnet’s Barry Davis reports that Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman will start for the club against the Royals on Saturday afternoon. It will be his first start in the major leagues.

Stroman, 23, was called up from Triple-A Buffalo on May 3 and contributed out of the bullpen, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) with a 4/1 K/BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings. The Jays optioned him back to Triple-A on May 18 and he made two starts. Against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Louisville Bats, Stroman allowed seven runs in nine innings.

Stroman was rated the #27 overall prospect entering the season by Baseball Prospectus.

The Blue Jays have designated pitcher Bobby Korecky for assignment to clear up a roster spot for Stroman.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.