The Blue Jays were dealt yet another blow on Monday night when Marcus Stroman developed a blister on his pitching hand. The ailment is a new one for Stroman, and is reminiscent of the issues that Aaron Sanchez has dealt with all season.
The Blue Jays just can’t catch a break this season. With Aaron Sanchez due to return to the rotation in the near future, it looked like the rotation may finally line up the way it was supposed to at the beginning of the season. The Blue Jays were supposed to have Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, and Francisco Liriano fill out their rotation, and they had the potential to be among baseball’s best rotations.
Things haven’t gone as they were drawn up, as Sanchez has spent the majority of the season on the DL, and both Happ and Liriano also spent significant time on the DL. Just as it appeared they may finally get to full strength, Stroman looks like he’s going to miss time with a blister issue.
The product of Duke university has been the Blue Jays’ best starter this season, currently sitting with a record of 8-5 and an ERA of 3.42. He’s thrown 105.1 innings in his 17 starts, and has been a crucial arm as the rest of his rotation mates have struggled to stay on the field.
Now he’s dealing with a blister issue that sounds like it’s very similar to the one that Aaron Sanchez has dealt with this year. In Sanchez’s case, he’s dealt with a combination of blisters and split nails, and it’s held him to just five appearances this season. The Blue Jays remain hopeful that Stroman’s new blister won’t have a similar effect.
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For his part, Stroman is not pleased about what’s happened, and he wondered aloud after the game if baseball needs to look into the issue. In an interview with Sportsnet after the game, he had this to say:
“I’ve never had a blister ever in my life. Nothing even remotely close to having a blister. It’s crazy. It’s extremely frustrating. I feel it’s an epidemic that’s happening across the big leagues right now”.
There have been accusations of a “tighter baseball” this year, which the MLB flatly denies. This season the ball is flying out of the park at an all-time rate, with team’s hitting 1.26 HR per game in 2017 (As of July 1st). That previous record is a mere 1.17, so we’re witnessing home run history this season.
"“I’ve never had a blister ever in my life. Nothing even remotely close to having a blister. It’s crazy. It’s extremely frustrating. I feel it’s an epidemic that’s happening across the big leagues right now”."
Stroman went on to say that he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that so many players are struggling with the blister issue, and believes it’s something that the MLB needs to look into.
For now, Stroman’s status is up in the air leading into the All-Star break. The Blue Jays felt they got him out of the game before the issue became a major one, and John Gibbons mentioned that he doesn’t believe Stroman will miss his next scheduled start, which is slated for Saturday against Houston. That said, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if the team skipped that turn into the rotation and gave him an extended break during the All-Star festivities.