Interesting tweet here from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News:

To hand-hold you through that, Stroman was scheduled to start tonight for Buffalo. Now, unless there’s an error on the card in question, he’s been scratched. For what possible reason, we do not yet know.

We know the one that we don’t want to hear, but according to a follow-up tweet from Harrington, we can breath easy:

That something could be a trade, technically. There could be an issue with one of the Jays’ current crop of starters, possibly. But it seems pretty reasonable to figure what’s most likely up. Liam Hendriks needed every inch of the Rogers Centre and every ounce of defensive prowess from the guys behind him to skate through his start on Wednesday against Tampa, and though the results have been there for him, the performance and the peripherals certainly have not been.

Hendriks’ next turn in the rotation is currently slated for Tuesday, but his day actually falls on Monday’s off-day. This means that the club could skip him, pitch their starters on regular rest through next week, and then not need a fifth starter again until next Saturday, at home against St. Louis. And the Bisons just so happen to have a game on Monday, which I’d expect Stroman to end up starting.

Stroman hasn’t seen great results since his return to Buffalo — and, of course, struggled a bit during his brief time in the majors — but continued to get himself stretched back out, throwing 83 pitches in a four-plus-inning start back on Sunday. He gave up four earned runs during the outing, but struck out four, only walked one (and hit a man), and had two of those earned runs hung on him by reliever John Stilson, who took over after Stroman failed to record an out in the fifth (and hit his pitch limit), having given up two singles, then the hit batter. Not exactly as awful as the 9.00 ERA makes it look.

More importantly: it’s time. Or, at least, it looks like it’s time for Stroman, not to mention time to get out from under the Liam Hendriks experiment before the results go as sideways as you’d expect. At least, that’s what I figure. Could be way off.

Arden Zwelling has an excellent feature on Stroman that was posted today over at Sportsnet. If for some reason those six less-than-impressive innings in a Jays uniform made you forget why everybody was so excited for this guy all winter and into the spring, read it.


More now from Mike Harrington, as he tweets that he’s spoken to Stroman, who says that he has “no idea” what’s up, and that he’s “kind of on hold. Just waiting.” Stroman adds, “There’s a chance I might be taking a car service out of here soon to go up there but other than that, I really don’t know.” Harrington also tells us that Stroman says his agent has told him to just hang on and see what happens.

(You can also find some of these quotes, often in expanded form, over at the Buffalo News.)

The fact that they’re seeing the agent is involved and that this is all still so up in the air is really making people salivate at the possibility of a trade here. Relax, though. What it more strongly suggests is that Stroman will take over for Hendriks on Tuesday, rather than next week. And the fact that he’s currently in limbo — or at least says he is — could entirely be due to the fact that the Jays have yet to inform anybody that they’re getting demoted.

Sure, if Hendriks was going back down they could have made this move following Wednesday’s start, but maybe they’re going to shift the Aussie to the bullpen (where he’d look better anyway), meaning that right now they have four starters, eight relievers, and a decision to make before Tuesday’s start about who goes down for Stroman when he takes the ball in Detroit.


Adding credence to this idea, I think, are these tweets from Arden:

Not entirely sure how that Dickey bit works*, but… uh… maybe J.A. Happ shouldn’t feel quite so safe just because this looks like his rotation spot is being disentangled from Stroman’s. But that’s the small takeaway. The big takeaway here is that the Jays do want Stroman in the big leagues, and as a starter.

As easy as it might be to get carried away with fantastical scenarios when we hear this murky stuff coming out of Buffalo, and as certain as it is that I’m just spitballin’ here, I’m pretty sure this is the most believable way to look at it right now. Lex parsimoniae.**

Update the Second

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet checks in on the story, and doesn’t exactly add much in terms of good news, telling us that Stroman was scratched tonight for Bufflao “for a possible spot start as soon as Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, multiple sources told Sportsnet.”

He continues:

The Blue Jays kicked around using a sixth starter earlier this month to build in some extra rest for the rotation, and with the club nearing the end of a stretch with 33 games in 34 days, they’re looking to do it again, even with an off-day slated for Monday.

They have a run of 26 games in 27 days that starts Tuesday.

That would be odd, though, still. And that is a less-than-ominous spin being put on the fact that Drew Hutchison — who we noted earlier in the week saw his velocity dip in each of his last two outings — is the guy getting the most immediate benefit of Stroman moving to the rotation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean this is injury related, so let’s not quite go nuts on that front just yet.

Hutchison’s velocity just so happened to dip at the end of a series of four straight starts coming on four days rest. Thanks to April off-days his previous five starts had come with an extra day of rest. Add in the fact that he pitched the first complete game of his professional career (both in the majors and minors) in the start prior to the dip, it’s entirely possible that, if this really is what’s happening, there is no physical issue with Hutchison beyond a little fatigue.

On top of that, seeing how integral he’s going to be to their season, and knowing that the highest number of innings he’s ever pitched in a year was 149.1, back in 2011, they may see this as an opportunity to limit his overall innings by having a brief run with a six-man rotation. Plus, it allows them to get Stroman into the rotation, and will allow them to make a clear, merit-based decision on who exits the rotation when they choose to go back to just five — which, Davidi says, may happen after just one turn.

That, of course, is probably the rosy spin on it. And maybe the part about Stroman sticking around isn’t quite right — maybe they’ll send him back down again afterwards. But it at least as much sense as it does getting all worried that there must be something wrong with Hutchison. More, even! And all the stuff from the previous update about why it’s not odd at all that Stroman may not yet know what’s going on — or that he knows but simply cannot say — still applies, you just have to push up the decision date on who goes down until after tonight’s game. And the reason they didn’t do it this morning was that they wanted to have an extra reliever in the ‘pen, so poor old Bobby Korecky got the call for just a day.

Probably, right?

Hint: check the scuttlebutt in the following post for your answer! (Double hint: he might also be up as a reliever, if the bullpen gets overworked tonight).


* As commenters astutely point out, it’s because Dickey’s short outing killed the safety net for tonight’s starter.
** I totally copied the Latin from Wikipedia. Please don’t be impressed.

Comments (49)

  1. Strovertime.

    I’m excited to see him up if that’s the case.

  2. Imagine he’s traded for Shields and starts vs the Bluejays tomorrow?

  3. Guess is Stro starts on Monday in Buffalo. Everyone gets pushed up in the big boys team, Liam goes and stro’s lined up correctly in the rotation.

  4. All possibilities are on the table of course. How about he’s coming up to replace someone in the bullpen. Rasmussen last outing was terrible. Delabar’s velocity is down. Jansen blew a save. Or maybe it is a trade after all.

  5. Well it can’t possibly be a trade, AA just said he’s not working on anything. *makes annoying sarcastic face

  6. nothing happening for now
    User Actions

    Mike Harrington
    Plot thickens…..Marcus Stroman has arrived and is long-tossing in right field…Stay tuned #Bisons #Bluejays

  7. I predict Stroman gets traded.

    It doesn’t make a ton of sense before the draft and I have nothing to back it up. I just like betting the long shot because I LOVE action.

    split those 10′s .

  8. Better not be related to hutch’s drop in velocity.

    • Didn’t we already decide that wasn’t real?

      • Fuck I hope so. I thought we thought it wasn’t real and then Stoets realized he can’t read a chart and then it was real again?

  9. I’d like to see Stroman up with the big club. I’m also hoping that they’re working with Rogers on his sinker and his control. If they can turn him around, it would be like found money. He did have some decent starts in the early going last year.

  10. Andrew — I know this is off topic for this post, but if you can listen to the PTS roundtable tonight (starting at the 6:00 hour), I’m interested in your take on the awkward way that the Rogers guys (Blair, Cox, and Shannon) are trying to get Doug Smith off the way TV numbers drive revenues for the Jays.

    It may be nothing, but it seems strange how insistent they are not to discuss how revenues are calculated from TV viewers. I’m wondering why this is a kind of “third-rail” topic for Rogers.

    • I’ll give it a listen at some point, I’m sure. I think you could guess why that might not be those guys’ bosses favourite topic, though.

      • I can guess. I just wanted your take too. It draws attention, though, to the difficulties of a media company owning the team and the “reporting.” Anyhow, thanks for the reply. Maybe it’s worth a paragraph in a Duce.

      • Andrew — do yourself a favour. Make sure you stop listening right after.
        This is painful.

  11. Shi Davidi reports that Stroman is making a spot start “as soon as tomorrow.”

  12. Continuing the Stroman theme for the early evening…a great, and huge, article by Arden Zwelling:

    • which, of course, I missed seeing the link to at the bottom of Stoetens original post here…sorry for my dumbassery. :(

  13. Jesus. Do I really live in a city where our flagship sports radio show currently has John Shannon and Damien Cox talking baseball?
    According to them:
    1. The team has a real dilemma when Colby is back about whether to play him or Gose.
    2. The numbers don’t lie, and it’s clear that Happ and Hutch pitch better to Kratz than to Navarro.
    3. Wouldn’t every team want another starter right now? Are the Jays any different in terms of their rotation?

    Fuck me.. I’d just as soon ask those assholes their opinion on open heart surgery.

  14. I took the” Dickey getting blown up” thing to mean that the pen pitched 4 innings last night and they’re not terribly comfortable letting Stroman start tonight because they are concerned that if he falters early, the pen will be taxed again.

  15. I think the Dickey getting blown up last night bit is only relevant because they want a fresh bullpen for a rookie starter which, given how much better they’ve been when not being taxed by the starters, seems like a pretty good decision. Still, would be great to see him up here as soon as possible.

    • Jesus. Nearly identical. We should meet.

      • It’s probably just the government mind control peeps turning their attention to comment sections. Explains all the “this season is fucked” posts from last night.

  16. If they could get wandy for the league minimum that might make sense. If they’re going to have 2-3 rotation spots to fill pretty consistently for the rest of the year (seems like it) and are maxed out on payroll (seems like it) they need to pick up a whole bunch of cheap guys that they can try out and kick to the curb whenever they blow up.

    • Unfortunately, CG, that sounds a lot like what expressly didn’t work last year (Laffey, Wang, etc.).

  17. My cat drank all of his milk and puled it out

  18. They’re playing in Comerica soon aren’t they? Hendricks would do just fine there as there is a lot more outfield for deep flyballs to turn into outs.

  19. Mama dont play no games bobby

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