Where were you during the most exciting, palpably thrilling moment of the Jays’ 2013 season?

No! Not Munenori Kawasaki’s home run [wank-off motion], or John Farrell tipping his cap at the frothing masses on that April Friday when we were all still so sure (mostly) that he’d fall on his fat fucking jaw as we romped in triumph through the 2013 season. I’m talking about Marcus Stroman ripping up the Arizona Fall League last night!

OK, so maybe that’s a stretch, but I don’t even know! There were great non-Jays moments in the postseason, and the winning streak lo those many months ago was pretty cool, I guess, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve been as giddy for baseball as I was last night, watching as Stroman worked a perfect two innings for the Salt River Rafters, striking out five.

Yeah, it was just the AFL. And yeah, his victims were “merely” Giants Double-A outfielder Jarrett Parker, Mets possible Rule 5 candidate Cory Vaughn, Pirates Double-A outfielder Alex Dickerson, one-time legit Giants prospect Angel Villalona, and Yankee A-ball prospect Peter O’Brian. But that’s kinda what 2013 has come to. Yet, while the competition may not have been terribly impressive, it was more about the way he did it, showing the mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider we’ve all heard about, while also getting rave reviews for a changeup he relied heavily on– which he explained was his plan in the video I posted in yesterday’s Daily Duce, as it’s the main pitch he’s been working on all year– and flashing a cutter as well. All of the pitches he commanded decently, though the impressive 19 strikes to six balls ratio is maybe a bit flattering, seeing as some of the swinging strikes were on pitches that more advanced hitters wouldn’t have chased.

Still, watching him was fun. It didn’t hurt, either, that Baseball America’s John Manuel was gushing over him on the MLB Network broadcast– and continued to do so into the half-inning following Stroman’s first three outs.

The chatter on Twitter– even before the game started, with Keith Law tweeting out that Stroman’s appearance was must-see stuff– certainly served to enhance the experience as well:


Though you know that his name is going to come up a lot this winter, as Alex Anthopoulos looks for yet more ways to reshape his big league roster. And of course, there are still some people– *COUGH* er… I mean *GROF*– who want to be “rational” and “realistic” and don’t want to “get caught up in it.” But you know what? Whatever, man.


Sure, he’ll probably be hustled out of town at this ridiculous love-in zenith of his Nestor Molina-ness, but… uh… we’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow? Let’s make it last. Let’s find a way.

Er… I mean last night. Or… well… more specifically, what you see in the video below:

You don’t get the full sense of it without the pitches that got him into the two-strike counts (including some explosive stuff to get up early on the first batter he faced), but still… the Jays might seriously have something here, height concerns be damned. Easy to say that, I understand, in the afterglow, but holy shit yes baseball Stroman filth. Fucking eh.

Comments (93)

  1. Real Stroman’s work on the mound.

    For some cynical, admittedly intangible reason, I’m glad Stroman wasn’t called up this past September. I’d hate for him to have had a bad outing or two and hang onto that for 5 months of Fall/Winter. On the other side, there’d be more of a book out on him if he happened to turn heads, as well.

    I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say other than I’m flabbergasted by his outing tonight and if he could be that for 20 of his starts in a season, that would be cool. Can the Jays have at least that?

  2. Its nice to hear that he should be with the team next season too, drafted and developed pitchers are my favourite.

  3. met him in Vancouver – super nice guy. I know it’s not a good reason to like a ball player, but I’m rootin’ for this kid nonetheless.

  4. 2014 Jays could have a lil Jose and a lil Pedro. Too bad we’re still currently sitting on a huge turd behind the dish…

  5. Can one watch AFL games online somehow?

    • I was able to watch last night and the night before finding the link from the mlb network homepage. I’m not sure what their future broadcast schedule looks like tho

  6. Offseason voicemail: “hey RA, JP here again. Not sure if this is still your number, I’ve left 6 messages and beginning to wonder. Anyways, just thought maybe we could toss it around again this offseason?!?”

  7. I really hope AA doesn’t trade any off the pitching depth in the off-season.

    It’d be nice to have Stroman, Nolin, and Hutch ready to go when someone gets hurt.

  8. I like Stroman. I hope he stays. Only because I don`t see any Dickeys or Floridas out there this year unless Florida allows Stanton to leave, so I don`t see much reason to give up your number 1b prosect, behind only Sanchez. The only really good pitchers that would be on the trade market would be ones with injury histories or ones with contracts that are no longer affordable for the teams that carry them. Ergo, you either end up with the same axe you would have had hanging over your head if you resigned Johnson, or a whole whack of salary is coming the Jays way. And really, you would only trade your 1a or 1b prospect to get a frontline starter.

  9. Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, FA Starter, Stroman.

    I can live with that.

    • Unless he’s completely dominant, Stroman won’t break camp with the Jays.
      They’ll want to wait until the Super Two deadline has passed.
      Tampa Bay brought Archer up on June 1.
      Expect the Jays would do something similar with Stroman.

      • I wouldn’t be too fast to say that. They may feel some urgency to win next year and, if Stroman is their best option, I wouldn’t put it past them to let him start.

        AA has always echoed the mantra that the money will be there to sign their own players when they need it.

        • If he’s the ebst option then maybe, but having that extra year of control is very important, especially if that player is good.

        • Myers came up June 18 TB
          Salazar July 7 (Cle)
          Gausman, May 23 (O’s)
          Franklin, May 27 and Miller June 28. (Sea)
          Teams tend to wait to get that extra year of control as revolu says

          Hicks (Min) and Bradley (Bos) started the season in the majors.

          Remember, Jays planned to wait until June for Lawrie
          but his injury just prior to call-up delayed that.

          Its not impossible Stroman would start with the Jays,
          but its far more likely that he does not.

          • There’s every possibilty that Hutch could pitch in the 5th spot til June 1 (or whatever the super 2 date is) and they make their decision on Stroman then. Let’s face it they’ll have lots of guys to choose from.

          • there are two things that may be different here though: first off, all he clubs mentioned (except the mariners) were bolstering already contending-quality rosters with prospects that had proven all they had too at the minor league level. The Jays don’t have that kind of first team depth in place yet, and Stroman doesn’t have that amount/quality of innings under his belt. Secondly, the Jays aren’t in the same small market payroll parameter mode that those teams all are. This gives hope that if the kid earns the job, he gets the job, no gaming of the system involved.

  10. Wow…I’m sitting here with an ear to ear grin after watching that. Next years starting to have a little sunshine..

    • I know this is sticking my neck out, but it defies logic that their pitching could be this bad for this long with all the potential they have.

  11. Awesome couple of innings, but am I the only one terrified that he’s wearing #7? Does he not realize who the last Jays starter was to wear #7??

  12. That cutter could be really helpful.

    Even in two great innings of work, that fastball looked a little straight. That first flyout, for instant, could well have been deposited in the seats by a big leaguer.

    • this is what I see, too.

      there is a lot to like there.

      he’d fit into the back end of a bullpen anywhere… but I don’t like his chances to stick as a starter in a park that gives up a lot of HRs.

      • Hence the need for a good catcher. IMHO, the Jays could have had a better than average rotation last year had it not been for injuries and JPA.

  13. I think its still pre-mature to pencil Stroman into the rotation (not that anyone is really doing that), but its funny how Blue Jays Fans have been conditioned to think that we will never see a pitcher come up through the ranks and stick with the team. We’ve watched the Rays pull rabbit after rabbit over the years and pined for our own Michael Wacha’s to get here – only to see each young pitcher’s arm explode upon arrival.

    But this could really be happening – and it would solve SSSSSOOOOOOOOO many problems to have Stroman at least (and potentially Drabek and Hitchison) knocking on the door for the 5th starter spot. Maybe the Blue Jays could be in a position of strength for once and deal a guy like JA Happ for I don’t know – a solid-if-unspectacular catcher who can actually get on base? At least for now guys – 2014!

  14. Holy. Shit.

    Always great to have someone to dream about.


    Muni being Muni.. hopefully he cashes in in Japan or is back with us somehow..

  16. [...] Marcus Stroman pitched last night in the AFL, and I’m not sure if you heard but it was rather spectacular. It’s officially at the point where if he doesn’t break Spring Training with our big league club I’ll be sad. [DJF] [...]

  17. …. as long as he doesn’t get Morrow’s cutter arm disease

  18. Damn, now i hope they wont trade him. I
    Dont see how they dont though because who else can they get good value for in the minors?
    Hope AA works some magic.

  19. Nice little Seger reference …

    And you know who else was a diminutive pitcher? Pedro Mar-freaking-tinez!! Obviously, Stroman will emulate his career. The future is bright!!

  20. Unfortunately I have been preconditioned to look for signs of future injury in a pitchers delivery. I also hate kittens and I am a Blue Jays fan.

    • LOL

      I love the way the fastball explodes out of his hand. Looks like a lot of natural power in his delivery, & that’s very, very good news. I’m excited about this guy; And like what I see/hear & read about this guy, as a person & pitcher!

    • I expect he’ll be in the Bigs once enough time passes that he’s no longer eligible to be a Super Two (unless we have 5 starters throwing well, or someone already on the 40-man ahead of him on the depth chart is also pitching well). In any case, he’s Great depth & insurance for next year; We won’t have a repeat of this year if Stroman has anything to say about it =)

      It’s about time we have a prospect who’s (near) ready to make a major impact!

    • Oh man his stuff is dirty (just watched the video)… His secondary stuff works well. And the expressions & weak swings of the batters says A LOT

  21. Interesting stuff on MLBTR this morning. Reds will probably move Hanigan (works for me), Amaro’s playing hardball with Ruiz (also works for me), and speculation the Mets may look to move D’Arnaud (hah!)

    • Hanigan would come cheap, but it’s fair to worry about how much his walk % would fall if he wasn’t hitting in front of a pitcher. Looking back on the last few years, about a third of his walks were intentional, and that doesn’t include just being pitched around with the pitcher behind him.

      He may be a right handed version of Josh Thole.

      • (That’s the pessimistic view, of course – if he keeps walking he’s a nice upgrade.)

        • Yeah, but I think the piece mentioned that he maintained a solid walk rate when he was in the seven hole. Small sample, but still encouraging.
          And like you said, he sure wouldn’t cost much. Happ as a depth piece/extra lefty out of the pen?

          • Not sure about Happ – they don’t seem to have a big need for starting pitching, and Happ is expensive if you’re using him as a long-man.

            Could probably see one of the Jays excess relievers being enough value, though a few teams will have interest and be able to offer that.

            Given that Hanigan is available, as is a very good starting pitcher in Homer Bailey and a long-time AA target (reportedly) in Phillips – you wonder if there’s a stage set for another huge ‘one-stop-shopping’ trade.

            • interesting, never thought of a package deal, but it could work out for both parties quite well

              Cincinnati has some of the most longterm payroll commitments of any MLB team, something like 200 million up until 2017.

              AA would be willing to take on large money contracts so long as it’s not longterm deals, so Phillips would fall into that category.

              He also prefers trades to FA signings.

              Nabbing Phillips will still be quite costly and it will depend on what exactly Cincy is in the market for

            • That would be rather expensive I imagine. I mean, it would pretty much solve all their issues, but at what cost? Hate to say it cause I love watching that redneck patrol centrefield, but Rasmus as the centrepiece?

  22. It’s been a while since I felt the (prospect) porn tingles. Is this post for viewers 18+ only?

  23. people are that excited about 2 innings in the APL? no wonder we get so upset when we have a bad season.

    • It’s not just 2 innings; It’s been a while in the making. He’s been making believers out of non-believers over the past season, and video & interviews continually give us more info to go on

      • Did you read the post?

        Where were you during the most exciting, palpably thrilling moment of the Jays’ 2013 season?

        No! Not Munenori Kawasaki’s home run [wank-off motion], or John Farrell tipping his cap at the frothing masses on that April Friday when we were all still so sure (mostly) that he’d fall on his fat fucking jaw as we romped in triumph through the 2013 season. I’m talking about Marcus Stroman ripping up the Arizona Fall League last night!

        OK, so maybe that’s a stretch, but I don’t even know! There were great non-Jays moments in the postseason, and the winning streak lo those many months ago was pretty cool, I guess, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve been as giddy for baseball as I was last night, watching as Stroman worked a perfect two innings for the Salt River Rafters, striking out five.

  24. Hanigan would be a great cheap pickup. Sorta like the Sox picking up Ross last year, except Hanigan is younger and better.

    Excellent defender, throws guys out, decent OBP regardless of it being inflated by NL or whatever. Way better than Thole.

    • I didnt bother checking on Hannigan but if you get rid of Thole you’re gonna need a knuckleball catcher and there arent a lot.

  25. Hanigan also makes sense that a reliever going the other way would probably be enough. Loup or Wagner + maybe a DSL guy?

  26. Stroman looks like a young Tom Flash Gordon.

  27. Well it seems a catcher will be brought in hopefully

  28. I second Gideon Turk’s (whoever that is) tweet:

    Let’s not trade Stroman

  29. Mighty small sample size. But sweet. Jays fans need SOMETHING.

  30. Semi-related: what does the asking prices of guys like Nolasco and Santana ($80-100m) mean to the trade value of a Happ or near-mlb ready prospects? It seems to me their value should go up exponentially as alternatives to throwing massive contracts at mid-rotation guys with little upside.

    That being said, sign Ubaldo and trade Sanchez for Samardzija. Then trade Happ + Janssen for Kendrick and Iannetta (or just sign Ruiz and Infante). Fuck that was easy.

    • Sanchez for Samardzija? Oof. I’d happily have him on the team, but he’s really not THAT great.

      • Well, he’s got that whole being a major league pitcher who has thrown two hundred innings and struck out two hundred guys in a season thing going for him. Plus he looks like a Guy Fawkes mask.

        Maybe I’m panicking on some of the recent reports on Sanchez and the troubling walk rates he’s posted so far.

    • It was posted on MLBTR that those were the prices they were looking for so I’m not arguing the value with you – but the predictions elswhere aren’t so rosey for what they will get.

      If I’m a FA Pitcher this off season I’m shooting for the stars though..$100M for santana is bonkers.

      • I totally agree. I did a double spit take when I read $100m was Santana’s asking price. I’d be pretty shocked if either of those guys got close to that. Still though, they’re likely to be paid more than they’re worth.

  31. I caught Stroman at a game in NH last year and was impressed with him there too. He has the tools, but we just have to be careful not to rush him; although I think his attitude and character serve him well.

  32. I like the idea of having Happ, Hutch, Drabek, Stroman, Redmond etc. battle for the 5th spot in spring. Leaves depth with upside which was sorely missed last year. Still need one more starter via free agent/trade/posting.

  33. Happ and Cecil/Janssen

    should bring back something decent shouldnt it?

  34. I still believe in Sean Nolin too. One bad ML outing and everyone seems to have written him off. Big Lefty with a career minor league K rate of 9.57, era 2.95 and whip of 1.21

    Throwing 90 mph, he’s a little bit finnessey but so was Andy Pettite. Andy had a career low 87mph average fastball and topped out at 89 AFB.

    I’m not saying he’ll be Andy Pettite, just that ha can survive with a 90 mph fb.
    Similar repertoire, fb, cutter, curve and change. Interesting prospect.

    • Definitely see the potential, isnt he projected to be a solid innings eater with #3 starter upside?

      We kind of screwed up in terms of asset management when we wasted his option and started the MLB clock though.

      • Showcase for a trade?

        • If it was a showcase, they didnt do a very good job. But I don’t think prospect showcases really affect the value that much. Rival GM’s have their scouting reports, I doubt a potential 5 inning stint would help them much.

          I think it was a case of AA having a brainfart and getting desperate on pitching options.

  35. If it’s me, I stand pat on the prospects. We can get what we need with FA’s that aren’t linked to picks. Sign one of these guys – Haren, Hudson, Burnett, J. Johnson, Bartolo,Feldman.

    Take a run at Tanaka – super longshot but who cares if it doesn’t work.

    PAY for Ruiz – no attempts on this one, get him inked. If that means an extra year then others are willing then so be it.

    Get a platoon guy like Ellis to split with Goins.

    All we lose here is money if Rogers is willing, retain our prospects and give some kids a shot.

    If things go well:

    One of the FA pitchers

    Chooch to lead the gang

    Ellis and Goins at 2bag.

  36. Can’t wait to see Stroman pitch in the show but to my mind, I think Redmond put up some decent numbers in his 77 IPs (1.21 WHIP) and should be in the conversation for #5/long reliever. Rogers has potential too but got tired after pitching137 innings.

  37. Is it wrong of me that the first thing I thought when I read this was “Stroman was drafted as compensation for not signing Tyler Beede- I wonder which Toronto columnists were shouting about the sky falling when that happened?”

    Yes Damian Cox, I’m looking at you.


  38. Good old winter. The season of hype.

    Followed by Spring. AKA the season of hope.

    And finally summer. AKA the season of shattered dreams.

  39. The Davis softball tater against the scumbag Red Sox was clearly the best moment of the season. Almost makes up for the universe trolling jays fans for the entire playoffs.

  40. 3.17 to 1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *