From the fast Twitter fingers of Barry Davis of the Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet, here’s a nifty bit of news from the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays:

Let’s start here: In the overall, long-term, Stroman starting is better than Stroman relieving.

I think it would be easy to oversimplify things here. No, he didn’t have great results in the 6.1 innings he pitched while here, but I don’t think at all this is as simple as him having pitched his way out of the job.

For whatever it’s worth, some of his peripherals have been fairly good. He minimized walks, generated ground balls, and got some swing and miss. The strikeout rate certainly wasn’t where you’d want it to be, though, and while his .444 BABIP suggests there is certainly an element of bad luck that may have coloured the sample we saw, most times it didn’t exactly feel like balls were necessarily just not finding their way into gloves.

In other words, it’s hard to properly assess what this cameo means, which is exactly what you’d expect from a sample so small. And, if you’ll permit me to spitball here a little bit, I don’t think that’s what the Jays have attempted to do. In fact, I think it’s almost simple what’s going on here.

The results, I suspect, have made the manager understandably a little reluctant to go to Stroman. That being the case, instead of being the bullpen weapon he was ostensibly brought here to be, Stroman has become the fourth right-handed reliever on the bullpen depth chart, behind Janssen, Delabar, and McGowan, and is less likely to get called on than Cecil and Loup, as well. He is both accruing service time and failing to get innings.

I don’t think the demotion is an indictment of how he’s performed, I think it’s an acknowledgement of where he stands in the pecking order, and the understanding that it’s far more valuable to the club both to prevent him from accumulating service time (and potentially getting hitting arbitration a year early as a Super Two) and to get him stretched out again and ready for his ideal role, in the starting rotation.

They could have simply thrust him into that role anyway, but I can understand there being a political element here, and even some element of trepidation regarding that tiny sample. Maybe the political stuff is too convenient of an excuse — and surely it wouldn’t matter much anyway — but Todd Redmond has pitched reasonably well this year, today not withstanding, and did a very nice job as a fill-in last year. He and a faction of the room might be understandably irked if he were passed over for the opportunity by a struggling rookie. Or if that’s nonsense — and hopefully it is — the club could simply want to take a good look at what they’ve got in the hot triple-A hand of Liam Hendriks, and be understandably thinking that this is the best opportunity they’ll get to see what he can do at the next level.

Not exactly inspiring stuff, but we do know they’re at least looking at Henriks. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News spoke to Alex Anthopoulos yesterday, as the GM visited the Queen City specifically to see the 25-year-old former Twin — and, perhaps, to avoid a repeat of last season’s dunderheaded Jim-Negrych-deserved-a-chance screed from a certain Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

“He’s why I came,” Anthopoulos said. “You want to see the 1.50 ERA for yourself. He was good. Throws strikes, changes speeds and I think people tend to forget he’s still young.”

Added Buffalo manager and OG Gary Allenson, “He’s money. … He deserves a look.”

Stroman won’t be eligible to be recalled in time for the next time the fifth starter’s spot comes up, Saturday afternoon against Oakland at Rogers Centre, so it will likely be Hendriks — and if not, Redmond — who gets the call. And with Stroman back to taking turns in the Buffalo rotation, waiting for either of those two or J.A. Happ to inevitably fail, he’s actually exactly where he should be.

Comments (91)

  1. Here comes Liam Hendricks?

    Fuck me.

    • Yep. Stroman can’t come back for 10 days, and Redmond pitching today probably means it’s not him.

      I’m not sure it’s the worst idea though. Set Stroman up to take his place if he struggles.

    • He’s 25 and he’s put up decent numbers in 7 starts at AAA this season. He’s worth a look.

    • Come on Hammer

      I doubt you’ve seen enough of him to accurately gauge how Hendriks is going to do at the Big League level.

      Give him his shot.

      This is the year of Jesse Chavez after all.

  2. Wonder if this has anything to do with Romero?

    • Such as?

    • As in they are throwing the Buffalo fans a bone by having someone watchable start to offset the Romero shit shows?

      • I wonder if the team itself maybe actually likes Romero starting, games go on forever so the concession stands do better business. Get that extra 1% that way.

        • Good point. I know the most I drank at a Jays game was last year’s Dickey vs Boston 13-0 debacle. It took a lot to drown those sorrows.

          • Maybe they’re sending stroman down so he can become a legit SP, rather than having him try to do so with the big club? Or maybe all of the club’s decisions are based around Ricky Romero…

  3. wow. dumb.

  4. Good call. Asset management. And we need to see what we have in Hendriks.

  5. This may be good news. Send Stroman down to Buffalo and stretch him out to being a starter again, and then you can bring him up to be the fifth starter.

    Given the length of time he has been in the bullpen he is not ready to be a starter.

  6. Stroman got hit pretty hard in relief, and with McGowan being demoted to relief, there’s a need for Stroman to be a starter again. Unfortunately, with Stroman’s relief stint, he’s no longer stretched out, so someone else has to take McGowan’s place.

    If not Stroman, then I’d vote Redmond.

  7. How fucking happy AA must be that the team is in Buffalo now, can you imagine making all these moves with the team still being in Vegas? Or how many moves are made because the team is in Buffalo?

  8. Knowing the Blue Jays, this could be about asset management.

    Send him down so he does not get enough service time to
    attain Super Two status.

    If he’s not going to start in Toronto now, its probably the right thing to do.
    He needs to be stretched out and some additional seasoning will not hurt him.
    They can call him back around the all star break and go from there.

  9. I GUARANTEE stroman is going to get traded. Typical alex mo to let players dominate AAA instead of getting owned in big leeg. Same thing happnd with snidy.

    • Yeah. And what a haul we got for ol’ Lunchbox.

      Dumbest. Post. Ever.

    • Uhhhhhhhhhh

      Pretty sure the reason Travis Snider dominated AAA and struggled at the MLB level is because he’s a BORDERLINE MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYER.

      • exactly, pretty sure alex got tonnes of offers for snidy and turned them down. once he showed he couldn’t hit he was worthless. alex won’t make same mistake again.

  10. Doesn’t matter who pitches the next time around, because the Oakland A’s offense is going to eat them alive anyways. Those guys are legit.

    • The Jays can bash with ‘em but yeah that team is rolling thunder right now.

    • Dont understand how but that team gets it done. They have always had guys with great obps.

    • Brandon Moss killed Cleveland this weekend. It’s kind of hard to believe that Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia all gave up on him. There’s something about putting on an A’s uniform that makes a guy over achieve…..cough….Jesse……cough..cough…Chavez.

  11. Am I the only person sick of hearing about stretching them out? Gotta stretch him out… Hes not fully stitched out yet.

    Wtf is going on in this world where six months of vigorous workouts and throwing programs can be undone in 2 weeks?!

    Fuck this stretched out nonsense!

  12. gave him a little taste of where he needs to be to succeed, and also helped keep his innings down – that could be big late in the year.

    i’m very meh on Hendriks chances of success – it doesn’t look like he’s doing anything different this year in AAA than he has the rest of his minor league career. for him to succeed with such middling strikeout ability, he’s going to have to do a much better job keeping the ball in the ballpark than he has in his other MLB opportunities.

    Redmond basically suffers from the same fatal flaw, although he does a little better job missing bats.

    ultimately, no matter who they go to for the 5th spot for the time-being, the fate of this rotation really lies with Stroman. If we go through the rest of the year giving 40% of our starts to Happ, Redmond, Rogers, Hendriks, the end result is probably not going to be pretty. A good Stroman for half a season, or some unforeseen trade for a quality SP, is really the only thing that can make this rotation average.

    • Well at the age of 25 it’s possible Hendriks has developed one or some of his pitches to the point he can now compete at the MLB level. That .80 WHIP, 3BB and 36 Ks in 48.2 IPs should at least get him a look.

      • Look at the quality of hitting in the International Leauge. Those numbers just don’t mean much.

  13. Imagine a world in which the Jays signed Ervin Santana and all he did was eat innings with a 4ish ERA.

    1. Santana would have replaced all of McGowan’s starts (might be 2-3 wins right there).

    2. McGowan remains as a bullpen weapon all season.

    3. Happ remains in the bullpen and Stroman remains as a starter in the minors until Morrow’s injury.

    4. The bullpen remains fresh, quite possibly performs a little better and a 4 man bench likely would have been deployed.

    The only “negative” would be someone like Rogers or Redmond likely having been DFAd or traded by now.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the Jays had about 4 more real world wins right now and a healthy lead in the ALE.

    Fuck everything.

  14. Just for the hell of it I googled Negrych after reading this. So where is the supposed second baseman of the future who was stuck in Buffalo now? He’s playing for the Brother Elephants in Taiwan.

  15. Red Sox looking for third base help … what does it take to pry Lawrie away?

    • A lobotomy.

    • I wonder what kind of return you’d get for Francisco. He’d be a nice fit for them in that park, to be sure. Not sure if his value will ever be higher..

      • Why the hell would the Jays want to deal either Lawrie or Francisco to a division rival?

        • They can have him for Lester straight up but the other condition is that Farrell also has to be in the dugout dressed as Bozo the Clown complete with makeup for the rest of the season.

        • Because he might suck?

      • The Sox aren’t dumb enough to see 100 PA and think he’s some kind of a solution worth giving up assets for.

        • True. Actually just wondering what sort of asset he would yield if they were desperate enough to consider it

    • Trade Lawrie to Boston? Yeah lets give our future perenial all star 3rd baseman who just for fun is Canadian, to a division rival so he can dominate us for the next 10 years..the guy who tries harder than anyone in baseball on every single play, young 5 tool player with a ton of heart, lets get rid of him immediately….idiot

      • The truly idiotic part is that you don’t want to do it primarily because he’s Canadian. Like that means anything. Dumbest reply in the history of DJF by far.

      • Steve Phillips doesn’t think too highly of Lawrie:

        • Brett Lawrie isn’t a star. He is “just a guy.” He is a borderline starter in the majors. He is overrated. Lawrie was hyped when he got to the majors and had a very good quarter season in 2011, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype and has been a disappointment.

          Seriously, he is complaining?

          He should be grateful for the opportunities he continues to get from the Jays. He has no room to complain. When I was with the Mets we moved Edgardo Alfonzo from second base to third base when we acquired Robbie Alomar from the Indians in 2002. Alfonzo had been established as an All-Star second baseman. He was a bit reluctant, but ultimately realized it was good for the team and moved. He had a heckuva lot more right to be upset than Lawrie. Lawrie is closer to being out of the Majors than he is to being an All Star.

          Steve Phillips isn’t an analyst. He is “just a guy.” He is a borderline writer for a terrible sports television network. He is overrated. Phillips never was hyped when he got to the majors and has never had a very good yearly quarter, and he hasn’t lived up to hype he has ever had and has been a disappointment.

          Seriously, he is complaining about a 24-year old who provided 6.3 fWAR while making the league minimum?

          He should be grateful for the opportunities he continues to get from TSN. He has no room to complain. When I was working out of my parent’s basement we moved my much more younger sister out of the house in 2002. His sister had been established as an All-Star dominatrix. He was a bit reluctant, but ultimately realized it was good for her and moved. He had a heckuva lot more right to be upset than her. Steve is closer to being out of TSN than he is to being out of his parent’s basement.

        • Two things on what a piece of shit Phillips is:

          Later in that piece, someone asks a question about the next MLB commissioner. Two of Phillips’s recommendations are George W. Bush and himself. I’m going to let listing himself go for a second. This cretin lived through the Bush years and thought the guy did a great job. Really understands “the economy,” he says in that article.

          But I’ll never forget tuning into the WBC a few years ago. A few Cubans had managed to unleash some anti-Castro signs at one of the game. Pretty reasonable, as Castro is a sack of garbage.

          Phillips said that the WBC really isn’t the time or place for such signs. As if the people leaving under the heel of that dickhead had the ability to sponsor the tournament and buy ad time. I never thought I’d see someone choose communism and Castro over downtrodden people holding up a fucking sign, but Steve Phillips was exactly the pro-establishment, don’t-rock-the-boat fuckhead who would.

          • The self-nomination was obviously a joke. And in fairness, it would be appropriate to point out that Phillips was also GM of the Mets (albeit a shitty one), not just a columnist (albeit a shitty one).

            And he is in fact right about Lawrie .. average player, not a star, shouldn’t be confused with/treated like one.

            • Phillips is absolutely wrong about Lawrie. The Jays have themselves a franchise cornerstone for 10 years. But because there wasn’t a single replacement-level second baseman in the franchise and because the franchise was too cheap to pay for one, they are jerking him around. But it’s fitting that Phillips is appreciative of shitty general managing, seeing how he’s created the great majority of it in baseball history. :)

              • Philips is right. Well, until he dumbly talks about optioning him as punishment for griping. And even then, only sort of.

                OK, he’s an idiot, but he’s right that Lawrie is miles farther from being a star than this market lets him think.

    • I’d give them JuanFran for Mookie Betts.

  16. I think one reason for Stroman’s bullpen stint is to help limit his overall innings pitched for this year. Hopefully he’s in the rotation and helping the big club win games late in the season.

  17. Wonder if there’s a potential 3 way in there which includes Shark?

  18. Lol Hendricks. Sure he’s young, but he still can’t miss bats and can’t keep the ball in the park at the MLB level. He has a 1.48 ERA because the BABIP gods are smiling upon him.

    Huzzah for more AAAA players to grace this team.

    Fuck off, Rogers Communications.

    Fuck off, Parkes.

  19. So nervous bout the upcoming Boston series. If we could kick em right in the teeth and sweep, the Jays could effectively punt Boston out of relevance for a while, while asserting themselves as frontrunners for the division. I may be performing some voodoo rituals for this one.

    • Agreed — while it was too bad about yesterday, a 4/6 or 5/6 road trip with a spanking of Boston and we can also assume AA gets a green light to start putting together some ‘buy’ trade deadline deals rather than ‘sell’ deals.

      Please, lord, can we see the ‘good’ Happ to go with some dominating performances by the other starters?

  20. I don’t think there is any evidence of “politics” at all. If he was dealing and getting results at the MLB level he would have got the upcoming start.

    I see it as the guy is being brought along. Until he reaches that point the Jays might as well go with the guys they are paying real money to until they’re performance is superseded by results by Stroman.

    I think his return to Buffalo was not chosen lightly and is by no means permanent. It’s more just addressing a fit for the team as it currently stands.

    ps. I thought nobody around here cared about super 2?

  21. Jays still have the only positive run differential in the division. Next highest is Orioles and Yankees, tied at -8, though in the case of a tie you usually go with the least runs allowed, which would be the Orioles.

  22. which means nothing

  23. The Jays just traded a PTBNL to the Astros for Raul Valdez.

    • Throwing Buffalo a bone

      • Yeah, at first I wondered if maybe there was another trade coming – Cecil or Loup plus prospects for a second baseman or something. Then I looked up Valdez’s numbers and figured no, this is just a depth move for AAA.

  24. Isn’t PTBNL the guy we received from KC for Bonicrapio?

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