Toronto Blue Jays: Right Time For Marcus Stroman to Make Debut


If there was a preferable time for Marcus Stroman to make his season debut for the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday against the New York Yankees would be it

Marcus Stroman will make his season debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, against the New York Yankees, which is a risky decision for GM Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons. With the Yankees right behind Toronto in the AL East, every game is crucial down the stretch.

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However if there is one pitcher on the Blue Jays staff that can handle a moment like this it is Stroman, who has overcome a lot during his young career. His 5 feet 8 inch stature made it a tough road to the Blue Jays rotation, as Stroman had his doubters along the way.

After the news about Stroman’s knee injury came out there were doubts about how the young pitcher would deal with it, but he shut down those concerns easily. He went back to school to finish his degree, while building strength back in his knee.

As Joe Lemire of USA Today writes, Stroman is not one to just lie down and take what he gets. If he can make a bad situation better, he will do whatever it takes.

May 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Marcus Stroman (54) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Lemire points out that Stroman was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 18th round to be a middle infielder, but returning to Duke University, where he started pitching and changed his future. At that point, the Blue Jays came calling at 22nd overall and since then, he has been everything the Blue Jays could ask out of a 24-year old.

Obviously having Mark Buehrle‘ be the one to skip a start in the rotation to facilitate Stroman, is a bit of a surprise, that is, until it was announced the veteran pitcher would receive a cortisone shot. The concern here is the fact that Drew Hutchison is not performing well on the road and is not going to be as reliable down the stretch.

Where this is disappointment, is the fact Buehrle has been one of the Blue Jays most reliable pitcher since being acquired in 2013. This is what the GM had to say about any concerns regarding Buehrle when he talked to the Toronto Sun.

"“He’s done this before. He’s been streaky,” Anthopoulos said. “He can go on long runs and do really well and have a few starts in a row where he doesn’t perform as well. The big thing is he feels good and the guy’s been doing it so long you don’t bet against him. He knows more than anybody else. He’s not concerned, he’s not worried at all, he feels great. We expect him to pitch well against the Braves.”"

There was also the debate about whether Buehrle would feel disrespected for having Stroman take his spot, as Greg Zaun argued on Tim and Sid:

However, Buehrle was quick to fight off any thought of him being unhappy with the decision made by management:

There will be people that will be unhappy with the Blue Jays decision to put Stroman against the second best offence in the MLB in his first start. If anything this is exactly what the team should do, because this is the situation he wants to be in.

It could be overwhelming for Stroman to be in this environment, but he is unlike any other young pitcher the Blue Jays have had in a long time. With that being said, Toronto want to find out as soon as possible if he will be a viable option going into this tough stretch, and possibly in the playoffs.

If everything goes well for Stroman, it would probably be Hutchison who gets bumped, until we know for certain what the status of Buehrle is going forward.

Next: Toronto Maple Leafs: James van Riemsdyk Vital to New Transition

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