When a franchise owns a prospect with the skill-set of “starting pitcher” Marcus Stroman, one would think that the last thing on the docket would be to obstruct his development; “would” being the operative word. I can only hope the Toronto Blue Jays‘ faithful feels the same as yours truly; plain and simple, the bluebirds are mishandling the situation.
Stroman was promoted May 4, and after a week in the bigs, he remains relegated to bullpen duties. The Jays can now officially be accused of getting a little too cute; this act needs to be cut immediately.
The idea of aiding a floundering bullpen is helpful on the surface, but in the grand scheme, all it’s providing is a detrimental disservice to its star-in-the-making youngster. Let’s not forget that the arms in the pen were recently considered an integral part of any kind of success this organization has achieved. The season is just over a month old, now is not the time to panic over a rough patch.
Management should be echoing the philosophy of its fans, ones who knew not to make plans for the parade over the team’s recent winning-streak — Jays’ supporters are well versed in celebrating with a designated driver always near by.
Why take the righty out of his comfort zone? Why remove him from his routine? Stroman was a closer during his time at Duke University, so he’s not visiting a strange neighborhood, however, this is about moving forward — not travelling back in time.
The very notion of implementing J.A. Happ into the starting rotation created an uneasiness across the city from the beginning, but the chain reaction of double-takes were seemingly swept under the rug when his five shutout-innings in his May 5 debut countered the initial objections. It didn’t take long for the dysfunction to set in; Happ’s Saturday afternoon line (2.1 IP, seven H, four ER, two HR) brought reality back into focus.
Stroman was dominating on the farm in Buffalo (26 IP, 36 K, 1.08 WHIP, 1.69 ERA, 12.2 SO/9, 5.14 S0/W, 2.4 BB/9); why mess with that success? The AL East is in the midst of a tightly-wound race; with the Jays’ offense emerging and its starting rotation attempting to fend off its usual circus-demons (at least for now), I implore Toronto to come to their senses. Either insert Stroman into the fire or send him back down. It was the correct move to make the call-up, but if you’re going to cast him in an Esmil Rogers role, the odds of it backfiring only increase.
When that risk is self-inflicted, the foolish card comes into play.