Blue Jays’ Stroman preparing for his next start

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: Head Trainer George Poulis of the Toronto Blue Jays works on Marcus Stroman
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: Head Trainer George Poulis of the Toronto Blue Jays works on Marcus Stroman /

The Blue Jays may have dodged a bullet after Marcus Stroman was hit by a line drive on Saturday. The charismatic pitcher has let his fans know via Twitter he’s okay, and doesn’t expect to miss a turn in the rotation.

Despite the fact that the Blue Jays are all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason, they still have plenty to play for down the stretch. The front office will spend time analyzing their roster in preparation for 2018, and of course there is the pride element to finishing things on a positive note.

For many players on the roster, they could be playing for their spot and/or role on the team next year, such as Teoscar Hernandez, Carlos Ramirez, Richard Urena, and more. Other veterans like Ryan Goins, Ezequiel Carrera, Brett Anderson, could be looking to prove their value down the stretch, as there will be changes to the roster and some fresh blood injected into the 40 man.

One of the few that could be satisfied with what they’ve already done is Marcus Stroman, who has lead the starting rotation all season long. The former first round pick has already made 28 starts, going 11-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 172.1 innings. There’s no doubt that he’d like to get to 30+ starts and 200 innings, but if the season ended today he would have plenty to be proud of.

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However, that’s not the way the 26 year old is wired, and Blue Jays’ fans should be thankful for that. Despite the fact that he took a rocket of a line drive off of the pitching elbow on Saturday, Stroman tweeted about making his next start on Friday night against the Detroit Tigers. In case you missed the incident on the weekend, you can watch the replay here. (*Note- the ball was estimated at 108 MPH off of the bat of Mark Trumbo)

It was no surprise whatsoever, but he actually wanted to stay in the game before the coaching and training staff convinced him that it wasn’t worth the risk, and rightfully so. As much as we can all appreciate his attitude, there was no sense in risking further damage until they were able to properly assess him. Tough or not, a shot like that to the elbow has the potential to do a lot of harm, so that was definitely the right call.

And if we’re talking about using logic and protecting him for the long term, it likely wouldn’t hurt for him to skip a start, especially with the extra arms available on the expanded September roster. Once again though, Stroman isn’t wired that way, and he has every intention of being back out there on Friday, his next scheduled turn in the rotation. With the off day on Thursday, Stroman does get an extra day to prepare, which certainly helps as well.

First and foremost, the Blue Jays’ training staff will need to make sure he’s okay, and I have every confidence that they’ll do just that. He was quoted as saying he, “felt like his arm exploded” at the time, and I think it’s safe to say that most of us doubted he would get away without missing a start.

That said, how great is the message that he’s sending to his teammates, his fan base, and the front office with his attitude? That even in a lost season and in a start that doesn’t affect the playoff picture (The Tigers are out of the race as well), he still wants the ball. I’m sure that part of that is motivated by personal milestones as well, but you have to like that he’s not willing to take a seat that easily, especially when he would have every excuse to take it easy for awhile.

Next: Anderson took a subtle shot at the Cubs on Twitter

As I said above, he’s not wired that way and we should be very thankful for that. Whether he makes that start or not, he’s proven a whole lot to me this week, and in 2017 as a whole. What else could you ask for?