Mark Shapiro appeared on the FAN590 radio show “Leadoff” this morning and divulged that Ross Stripling has an inside track on a rotation spot while Nate Pearson is not expected to break camp in the rotation due to a groin strain.
The Blue Jays acquired Stripling from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline last season in exchange for Kendall Williams and Ryan Noda. The 31-year old right-hander made five appearances including two starts for Toronto posting a 6.32 earned run average.
In 2019, Stripling made 32 appearances including 15 starts for the Dodgers accumulating a much more promising stat line with a 3.47 earned run average while fanning 93 in 90.2 innings on the bump. Stripling has toed the rubber in 148 games starting 61 of them over the course of his five-year MLB career.
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It was anticipated that Nate Pearson would be a major contributor in the rotation this year, however, once again the big right-hander is saddled with another injury. The 24-year old did play catch from 120-feet and is expected to throw a side session on the weekend but according to Shapiro it is “hard to see” him in the rotation given the current timeframes.
The team also has a plethora of young arms chomping at the bit for an opportunity to show their stuff in the rotation. Pitchers like Thomas Hatch and Anthony Kay could push their way through the door for an opportunity.
As it stands now, Stripling is going to get the first look and it is his job to lose at this point.