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 right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.
Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.
Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.