The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly set their playoff rotation, following the Big Ace David Price with the Little Ace Marcus Stroman. Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports that R.A. Dickey will throw a simulated game at some point today to put him back into a regular schedule.
An announcement like this would have been pure fiction just months ago, but Stroman’s recovery from a torn ACL has shot him not just back onto the roster, but into a leading role. Stroman is a perfect 4-0 in four starts with a 1.67 ERA, and appeared to have found his strikeout pitch in his most recent outing against the Baltimore Orioles.
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After surpassing the many hurdles in his comeback, the primary concern with Stroman shifted from his knee to his arm. It was not guaranteed that he would return from such an extended rest with the same velocity and dominance that we know he’s capable of, and while the radar gun hasn’t quite topped out as high as it eventually will, Stroman is all the way back.
I’d beaten the drum for R.A. Dickey to be used between Price and Stroman, but at this point in the season, complaints are for fools. The thinking behind that had been that Dickey would benefit much more from a start at the Rogers Centre, but perhaps the Texas heat will bring his knuckball some of the ever-mysterious magic.
Marco Estrada is now left as the fourth starter in the rotation, but his usage will rely entirely on necessity and how deep these series go. He’s come a long way since opening the season in Toronto’s bullpen, and having an Estrada-esque performance from the fourth spot deep in their rotation is yet another advantage that the Blue Jays will hope to exploit.