Marcus Stroman took a big step in his return to the Toronto Blue Jays last night
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As the Jays were busy beating the Cleveland Indians for the second straight night and their 76th win on the season, Marcus Stroman was busy making his way back from a pre-season injury in Lansing, Michigan.
Pitching for the Lansing Lugnuts in his first rehab appearance at the Triple-A level, Stroman tossed a gem. He kept the visiting Great Lakes Loons hitless over 4.2 innings of work, striking out seven batters in the process. There were only two blemishes on his night: a wild pitch in the third inning and a walk in the fourth inning. Otherwise, Stroman came as advertised: a young pitcher on his quick way back to the majors.
Mar 9, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) walks to the dugout after being removed from the game in the third inning against the Houston Astros in a spring training baseball game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Manager John Gibbons, when told of Stroman’s performance following the Jays’ 5-1 win over the Indians, didn’t question the result. In fact, he said it was expected of Stroman at the Single-A level. Gibbons’ comments also suggested that Stroman might make his next appearance pitching for the Buffalo Bisons in Triple-A baseball.
The fact that Stroman showed no signs of discomfort or rust on the mound affords the Jays the opportunity to accelerate his return. When he eventually returns to the big club, Stroman’s presence will expand the depth of a pitching staff that has been among the best in the MLB since the all-star break.
Friars on Base
Stroman could be used as a long reliever or he could be given spot starts to rest some of the veteran arms in the rotation. The Jays could also opt to split starts between Drew Hutchison and Stroman depending on whether the team is playing at home or on the road.
There’s no rush to see Stroman back in a Jays uniform, but there’s also no reason to delay his return if he continues to meet and even exceed expectations. The Jays would certainly benefit from the added depth he represents; his return can only really benefit the team.
What are your thoughts on Stroman’s pending return? Are the Jays rushing him? How might they utilize him? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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