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Marcus Stroman is a Boost for Blue Jays

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Get ready, folks! the day we thought too good to be true is apparently upon us. After concluding the series in Boston, the Toronto Blue Jays will head to Yankee stadium to continue their battle for the American League East title. And, they will do so with Marcus Stroman in the rotation!

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

When we heard that he’d torn his ACL back in the spring, many of us hung our heads and decided to wait until next year to see him electrify Rogers Centre. We got word that he was working toward a September start and we waited with bated breath. Well, you can all breathe again because Stroman has worked his tail off and is ready to return. And, just like that, the Blue Jays have made a late season acquisition to bolster their rotation without spending anything.

Stroman will be a welcome upgrade to this starting 5. There has been varying degrees of concern among the fan base about just how much the rotation had left in its tank. More specifically, Mark Buehrle appears to be struggling to maintain his consistent diet of innings. It culminated in a very short outing against the Red Sox on Monday. Then came word that Buehrle might be in more pain than we thought:

Now, Buehrle has never (NEVER!) been on the disabled list in his big league career. The team and he will do everything they can to avoid such a turn of events. But, the timing of Stroman’s return could not be better.

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  • The concern is not just with Buehrle, though. Marco Estrada‘s career high innings total is 150, which he set last season. He’s already at 147 this year. How will he fair with an increase? Conventional thinking might suggest that he’ll be OK since the increase may not be that substantial. But, it is uncharted waters for Estrada. Drew Hutchison is another question mark. Does the club feel comfortable rolling Hutch out there every 5th day in an ever so tight playoff race? His numbers have not been great this year. If it weren’t for run support, he’d be in worse shape.

    And, since we’re on the subject, David Price came into Tuesday’s start with 196 innings pitched. That’s after throwing 248 last season. How much of a workload can he take? Now, most of use would say, “Who cares?!” We want him out there taking the ball as much, and for as long, as possible. We’re not overly concerned with his arm in the future since there is no guarantee it’ll be wearing blue after this club’s 2015 campaign ends. That is not to sound callous, but to point out that perhaps you run him out with little concern for resting him. And, he’s the ace. Does he need it anyway?

    All of these concerns and question marks make Stroman’s return that much more meaningful. The Blue Jays need a boost in their rotation. They are trying to end their playoff drought. They have lots more games against division rivals. They need Stroman. The context of his return amplifies its impact. Not that it needed it. The guy is coming back after less than 6 months after an injury that was deemed season ending. With his return, the Blue Jays hope it will help them avoid an earlier than desired end to their season.

    Next: Brett Cecil: Silent Assassin

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