Don’t worry about a thing. ‘Cause every little thing is gonna be alright. At least it appears that way. The Toronto Blue Jays rotation has been a bit of a question mark lately. Drew Hutchison has been inconsistent and Mark Buehrle seems to be feeling the effects of 15 years of 200+ innings. Marco Estrada has been outperforming expectations all season. So, many fans were not feeling so comfortable with how this starting five stacked up heading into potential playoff baseball. Enter Marcus Stroman.
If we’re looking ahead to the first playoff appearance for the Blue Jays in 22 years, it is not entirely clear how the club will set up its rotation. Certainly, there are bound to be lots of opinions. But, before we can even get there, we need to think about winning as many of the remaining 19 games as possible. And, relying on Hutch, Buehrle or even Dickey and Estrada might make some folks nervous. But, the return of Marcus Stroman gives the club not just another starter to provide rest for the others, but the pitcher we all hoped would be leading this staff in April.
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Many felt that Stroman would be the one to step up and have a huge year for the Blue Jays. After all, he has an arsenal of pitches that make you drool. He has the confidence to take the mound against any opponent. He just might be a budding ace. The whole stature/ height thing is a tired line, but it does emphasize his against the odds mentality. It is what helped him make his way back from what was supposed to be a season ending injury.
And, it is that bulldog mentality that he brought to the mound on Saturday in the second game of the double header. He showed very little signs of knee issues or even rust. Some were hesitant to get too excited about his return because they weren’t sure what we’d see. Remember that he only had a couple rehab starts before this weekend. He’d maintained his physical regimen while he was gone, but it’s not the same thing. So, really, it’s mor elik ehe’s at the end of Spring Training.
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And, it was a good start. He went 5 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 strike outs and a home run. He also committed a balk, that he didn’t agree with, but quickly brushed off. It was actually funny. All of that came on 78 pitches. Really, if the rain hadn’t interrupted the game, he could have continued. But, at 78 pitches on his first day back, it was an outing that Blue Jays fans will take. It’s a step in the right direction. He’ll likely improve as he sees more live hitting, etc.
Which is a good sign for this rotation. Having 6 starters creates options. The Blue Jays could go with the 6-man run. They could also move someone to the bullpen. Of course, how they do this will be up for debate among fans. What they will do remains to be seen. But, the good news is that the #StroShow is back and this club is better for it. Where we might have once had worries about the starting pitchers, we can enjoy a bit of excitement.