It’s been raining on and off all day in Kansas City, and as of 37 minutes before first pitch, the tarp is going back on the field at Kauffman Stadium, which totally may be fucking with the Jays’ rotation plans! I say that because… well… because I’m listening to the radio pre-game show, and with Shi Davidi having been on the line from Buffalo, there was a whole lot of talk about tonight’s Bisons starter, Marcus Stroman.
Stroman, as you’ve surely heard, had his start moved to tonight, presumably in order to line up with the Jays’ fifth starter, Dustin McGowan, who is on the brink of losing his job after admitting to having fatigue set in around the 60th pitch of each of his starts so far. That has hardly been McGowan’s lone problem, but it’s certainly not helping his case to stay in the rotation, despite the fact that his arm reportedly feels great, and his stuff, while maybe not as good as ever (his velocity has certainly been down, for example), remains excellent.
Maybe helping him even less is the way that Stroman has pitched — especially tonight. Working on an 80 pitch limit, Stroman pitched six no-hit innings, striking out ten and walking only one. Holy shit!
I mean, yeah, it’s the Skip Schumaker- and Ruben Gotay-led Louisville Bats, but he can only face who the other team puts out there, and he sure did nail it. So that makes four of five starts with one or fewer walks, and four of five starts with more than a strikeout per inning, for Stroman so far in his triple-A career. His current totals are 26.2 innings, 36 strikeouts, 7 walks. Impressive.
His time could be soon, and as cautious as I’ve tried to be about it, the optimism sure is warranted.
Thing is, I’m still optimistic about Dustin McGowan, too. And Brandon Morrow. But both of them sure would do themselves well by actually, y’know, showing something in this next little stretch. They’re at least in the right parks and facing the right lineups to do it. If we can even get the games in!
Brendan Kennedy tweets that a press box announcement said that tonight’s first pitch will be delayed by 10-15 minutes, “but we will get it in.” A follow-up officially confirms that first pitch will be at 8:35 PM ET.
The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly tweets that it was the Jays who claimed O’s lefty-mashing-ish outfielder Steve Pearce on release waivers, however the player elected free agency instead, and negotiated a return with the Orioles. “Love you, though, Moises,” I’m sure the Jays were heard to say.
Barry Davis tweets that Adam Lind’s back remains stiff, so he didn’t play in an extended spring game today, and the hope is for him to get back to action later in the week.
In better news (though, actually, with some NL games coming up, they might as well be cautious on Lind), Davis tweets that Casey Janssen is with the Jays in Kansas City, and he’ll throw a side session tomorrow before deciding what to do next. If his return coincides with McGowan moving to the ‘pen for Marcus Stroman, hard to see Chad Jenkins and Esmil Rogers remaining on the roster. Though Happ and Redmond might have some nervous days, too.
Scott MacArthur tweets that he overheard someone say, ”What a ‘coininkydink’ that Chris Getz returns to majors against KC.” Not sure if that’s notable because it’s a gift to Getz or because someone actually said “coinkydink”. (Unless they actually really said “coininkydink.”)
Another from Kennedy, who tweets that the Royals have flipped their game two and game three starters for this series, moving Yordano Ventura to Wednesday against Drew Hutchison, and Jeremy Guthrie to Thursday against Mark Buehrle. “That’s a bummer,” he adds, because “I was really looking forward to seeing the slowest fastball in the game (Buehrle, 83.5) vs. the fastest (Ventura, 95.9).”
Next game: Tomorrow, 8:10 PM ET, @ Kansas City
For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.
And now, the lineups…
Toronto Blue Jays
SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Juan Francisco (L)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
2B Chris Getz (L)
RHP Dustin McGowan
Kansas City Royals
RF Nori Aoki (L)
2B Omar Infante (R)
1B Eric Hosmer (L)
DH Billy Butler (R)
LF Alex Gordon (L)
C Salvador Perez (R)
3B Mike Moustakas (L)
SS Alcides Escobar (R)
CF Jarrod Dyson (L)
LHP Jason Vargas