It would be naive to believe that Marcus Stroman isn’t yet over his distinction of still being a prospect and not yet a major league ready pitcher. And with the awkward pitching rotation situation that the Toronto Blue Jays currently find themselves in, this could very well be Stroman’s opportunity to crack a spot on the mound every five days come Opening Day.
Stroman absolutely dominated Eastern League hitting in 2013 as a member of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Jays. He struck out 129 batters in just 111.2 innings pitched and did much of the same this past fall in the Arizona Fall League. Stroman kept on rolling in the desert as he managed to ring up 13 batters in just 11.2 innings pitched.
His recent dominance over hitters helps make a strong case that he is ready for the next level in his very young professional baseball career. Whether the Jays do decide to sign Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, or both for that matter, you can be sure that the underdog Stroman will be right in the mix when it comes down to the last two spots in the rotation. He has a complete repertoire and likes to throw strikes — a great combination for a power arm pitcher to possess on a big league mound.
Even if the Blue Jays decide to have Stroman start in Triple-A with the Buffalo Bisons or back with the Fisher Cats, he will likely make his way up to the bigs in no time. It’s unfortunate but at the same time inevitable that someone is going to go down with an injury, and with the Jays’ track record it could end up being sooner rather than later. This is where Stroman comes in ready and goes to work.
Without any news sitings of either Jimenez or Santana in downtown Toronto and with the injury bug that always seems to hit the starting rotation for the Jays, Stroman will get to put that power arm to the test against big league hitting. It’s what he needs to face next after absolutely dominating in the Minors. By Opening Day, whether he is a member of the big league roster or not, Stroman will finish Spring Training strong and will have all eyes on him whenever it is he throws his much-deserved first major league pitch.