Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman back on the bump versus Team Canada

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman /

Toronto Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman will make his long-anticipated spring training debut versus the Canadian National Junior Team on Saturday at Dunedin Stadium.

Marcus Stroman has yet to appear in any Grapefruit League action thus far due to inflammation in this throwing shoulder. The Stro-Show will miss his Opening Day start versus the New York Yankees however there is still hope he may be able to pitch at some point in that first series in Toronto.

As for tomorrow, Stroman will be on the bump opposite Ben Abram who according to his Twitter bio is a right-handed pitcher from the Ontario Terries 18U program and an Oklahoma University commit. It will undoubtedly be a daunting task for Abram and company versus the likes of Stroman.

17-year Braden Halladay will also get the ball for an inning for the Juniors during the contest, as we all know his father is the late Roy Halladay, a Blue Jays icon who died tragically earlier this offseason in a plane crash in Florida.

According to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, the Blue Jays will counter the Junior Nationals will the All-Bloodlines team as Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Kacy Clemens and Cavan Biggio are all tabbed to start versus the Canucks. Those four along with Halladay will make this one of the can’t miss games of the spring.

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The Jays will have a close eye on Stroman over his two innings of work as he attempts to clear his first game action hurdle. Last season Stroman finished 8th in AL Cy Young voting going 13-9 with a 3.09 earned run average and a 5.7 WAR in 201 innings of works last year.

If the Blue Jays are going to contend in the AL East in 2018 they absolutely need Stroman at full strength poised to clone his 2017 results again this year. Stroman had a season for the ages in 2017 winning the World Baseball Classic MVP award as well as taking home his first Gold Glove honour while sandwiching in his best season to date as a major leaguer statistically.

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The Stroman and Aaron Sanchez tandem have the makings to be of one of the best one-two punches in the majors if Sanchez can avoid any blister relapses this season. Both hurlers will be leaned upon heavily to produce as the Blue Jays chances weigh in the balance.