Blue Jays MiLB Recap: Marcus Stroman’s AAA Outing


On Monday, I attended the Buffalo Bisons game in my neck of the woods – Rhode Island (that’s right, I’m a Blue Jays fan living in New England. And no, it’s not easy). I was able to score seats two rows behind home plate, as a good friend of mine works for the Pawtucket Red Sox as a club house manager. Having said this, I was able to get an extremely good view of Marcus Stroman‘s rehab outing for the Bisons. I was also able to post pictures and a video on my Twitter page so feel free to check those out (@ACorsair21).

Stroman first came to the mound looking excited to get his work in. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a pitcher hop around so much and display so much energy to pitch at the AAA level. It was pretty cool. During the first inning, it seemed as though Stroman was struggling with his command. Maybe it was due to the thrill of taking the mound and knowing he was inches away from getting back with the Jays. Regardless, it wasn’t lights out, but it wasn’t terrible either. He allowed only 3 hits with one strikeout in a scoreless first inning.

In the second inning the command issues continued as he allowed a lead-off walk on 5 pitches. He looked as though he was settling into a groove with a strikeout to follow, yet ended up drawing another walk putting a man on first and second. On a positive note, his slider looked good and his fastball was topping at 92 MPH. He allowed a chopper to the second baseman that would have normally resulted in an inning ending double play, but it was unfortunately misplayed, loading the bases. At this point, I was reminded that Stroman was on an approximate 85 pitch limit, so I figured he wouldn’t go deep into the game. He then gave up two consecutive singles resulting in two earned runs scored, but ended the inning with a strikeout.

The third inning is where it all seemed to unravel, and would end up being his last. The command issues lingered, as he walked two more batters and surrendered two more earned runs, yet was able to strikeout two batters as well. His final stat line was 3 innings pitched, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 8 hits, 4 earned runs, on 81 pitches.

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  • Now, as a fan of Stroman and being familiar with all that he had to endure to even get to this point, I give him an enormous amount of credit. To me, it’s incredible that he is even able to pitch and it’s great to know that he’s in the discussion to rejoin the Jays to help them for that playoff push. I know the stat line may be a bit discouraging for a lot of people, but I choose to take it as a small grain of salt. We must remind ourselves that he’s only pitched a small handful of rehab starts and may need to get into a groove similar to how all pitchers need to in the beginning of the season. That is what I wish to stress the most: we must consider this as Stroman’s early season form.

    Yet, knowing how determined and driven he is (and looked) today on the field, I have nothing but faith that it’ll come together (see what I did there?). Stroman emphasized his confidence in his ability to be able to pitch at the major league level again and return to mid-season form quickly in his post-game interview, and I see no reason to doubt him.

    Although it wasn’t the prettiest of starts or perhaps wasn’t what we all expected, I view this as a small hiccup.

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