We know that Stroman will be the Opening Day starter for the Blue Jays this season. He had the chance once before during the 2016 season.
The offseason didn’t come without drama for Stroman. The outspoken pitcher said that the organization hadn’t offered him a contract extension heading into the season.
"“It’s a business. It is what it is. Mentally, I’m ready to perform wherever it may be. I want to play here, I’ve been wanting to play here for a long time. I’ve been waiting to sign a long-term deal, I’ve gotten nothing. There’s nobody that embodies the city of Toronto more than me and you’re not going to find guys that want to come in and embody the city of Toronto because it’s not natural, Stroman said to members of the media after reporting for spring training in February. ” …I’ve always wanted to be here. I’ve always wanted to pitch in the AL East – I want to pitch against the Yankees, I want to pitch against the Red Sox. People shy away from that. People go hide in other leagues. I’m here, I’ll face anybody. I don’t care who’s in the box. I’ll face anybody – I could care less. I think that’s the type of mantra and confidence that Toronto needs to be honest with you.”"
Stroman is set to go to arbitration with the Blue Jays for the fourth year following the 2019 season. The organization quickly struck down the claims made by their ace regarding negotiations.
In the wake of Sanchez’s recent injury struggles, Stroman has become the top dog in the Jays rotation. He’s just two years removed from receiving his first career Gold Glove as well as votes for the American League Cy Young.
The 27-year-old posted a 4-9 record in 2018 with a 5.54 ERA, 3.91 FIP, and 1.47 WHIP across 102 1/3 innings. It was the first time since 2015 that Stroman didn’t pass 200 innings in a season – that, of course, was the year that he sat out nearly the entire campaign after tearing his ACL.
Stroman had a good showing in spring training, fashioning a 1-1 record with a 2.19 ERA and 0.56 WHIP while striking out 13 in four starts.
It also appears that Strochez is once again a thing.
There was speculation that the pair of pitchers had a rift behind the scenes. Stroman put all that talk to bed.
The right-hander is never short on confidence and has shown he can be one of the best pitchers in the American League when he’s on his game. The Blue Jays will be looking for him to shoulder the load on the mound and reach 200 innings for the third time in his short career.