According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays have pushed Triple-A starter and #2 prospect Marcus Stroman back to Tuesday after he was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday in Buffalo . Why would the Blue Jays decide to skip Stroman’s start? Apparently it could have something to do with Dustin McGowan.
McGowan is also scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals and many are insinuating he’s on a short leash after only four starts in 2014. His own admission of fatigue around the 60 pitch mark didn’t help nor did John Gibbons comments about a potential six-man rotation. McGowan, who is a type 1 diabetic, is even considering wearing an insulin pump during games to help boost his stamina according to Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun.
The Blue Jays knew when they put McGowan in the rotation he could go down at any time. For now his arm is still intact but with game scores of 28, 37 and 32 in three of his four starts his performance has left much to be desired.
Enter Marcus Stroman, who is looking all nice, new and shiny down in Triple-A Buffalo. The New York kid has looked very good in the cold but at the same time hasn’t completely dominated. Stroman is likely good enough to be in the rotation but as a young starter his growing pains from spring training could very well be extended to his first cup of coffee at the big league level.
Davidi says if McGowan struggles on Tuesday it could be Stroman who is called up for a May 4th start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. As much as I love when Marcus pitches, it makes me nervous when a prospect is called up with the expectation he will immediately improve the big league club. It’s too much to ask from a young player in any situation, and I think @DonnaTopping1 said it best:
@Wrayzerblade Jays have other problems that need addressed. Can't expect that Marcus is going to fix everything. Big burden if they do.
— Donna Topping (@DonnaTopping1) April 26, 2014
Service time issues aside, I’m still not sure if early May is the right time to call up Stroman. I’d rather the Blue Jays give McGowan another couple of cracks with hopes he either continues to build his stamina or is more productive in shorter outings. The incompetence of J.A. Happ makes the six-man bullpen tough to stomach, not to mention it’s a gross misuse of roster spots, but at least for now I’m not convinced we should expect much more value from Stroman in the midterm.
The Blue Jays should wait until June when they will have a better idea of where they are going this season before calling up the young stud. Obviously there’s a chance he could contribute positively before then but we can’t expect Marcus Stroman to save the Toronto Blue Jays’ season.