When should prospect Marcus Stroman be called up for the Toronto Blue Jays. Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman could start for the Toronto Blue Jays on May 4


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:

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.

Tags: Dustin McGowan Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays

  • Momus

    While I recognize that decades of Toronto sports teams have conditioned us to always assume or teams are going to implode in the most heartwarming ways possible, I think it’s a little early to stay talk about saving the Blue Jays season. They are right in the middle of the AL East pack and until last night’s meltdown by the bullpen were the team with the best run differential in the division.

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

      If Stroman can help, do it. If it is not really necessary, don’t. Right now, before the first month is even over, I don’t think it is necessary. As you say, we’re right in this thing.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      I probably laid it on a little thick with the save the season part but I’ll admit I’m concerned about the sustainability of the pitching staff with or without Stroman.

  • Jack Stevenson

    Please give Happ at least one shot. In 2013 ST he was good enough to displace Rickey ( not a great accomplishment I agree ) and then suffered through misfortune never getting untracked. Then comes back problems ( from altering his release point ? ) We saw what Jenkins offers today, Stroman is too raw, Nolin and Sanchez are not ready. Throw Happ out there ! ,

    • Paul Miller

      I agree Jack. I know there is a lot of hate towards Happ based on his Spring Training performance, but I think he should be next in line if McGowan continues to falter. At least Happ has experience starting.

      • Momus

        I think there’s a lot more than just spring training behind people’s opinion of Happ. Over the last 5 years he’s put up an ERA around 4.67, with a 1.46 WHIP, a 4.38 FIP and an ERA+ around 86. He’s essentially been about 15% worse than an average MLB starter.

  • Jay Blue

    One correction. Stroman was never scheduled to start “Last night in Buffalo” (April 24). The night in question was the final game of a road trip and Sean Nolin was scheduled to start that game. Stroman’s last start was April 21, meaning that he would normally be scheduled to start on April 26 in a five-day rotation. The rain out in Scranton meant that Nolin was pushed back to Saturday (April 26).

    Instead of taking the ball after Nolin, he’s been pushed back a couple of extra days to Tuesday to line him up with McGowan.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      meh… “details”

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      Thanks though, article has been updated.