Marcus Stroman to the rescue? The time has come to explore what the Jays have up their sleeve…

It is hard to miss the drama of the glorious comeback that Toronto Blue Jays right handed hurler Marcus Stroman is attempting. Having completed his degree over the summer while rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, he has now returned to pitching professionally. His comeback started in dominant fashion, albeit against over-matched Single A competition. But while his comeback draws all the press these days, let’s not forget why we are excited in the first place, and just how brilliantly Stroman shined when he became a starter last year, as a 23 year-old rookie.
Stroman is the shortest starter in the majors in 25 years, which just makes his 95-96 mph fastball all the more impressive. Stro had his first ever start on May 31, 2014, and then quickly, improbably, came to be considered the ace of the staff. In the next two months, Stroman pitched 68 innings over 11 starts, and by the end of July he had a 5-2 record as a starter, with a stellar 2.12 ERA, .208 opponents batting avg, and 1.00 WHIP^.
From May 31st to season’s end, the rookie came out of nowhere to become the Jays’ most reliable starter, with 2 complete games in 20 starts, a 3.18 ERA and 1.078 WHIP. Over 124.1 innings Stroman gave up only 44 earned runs, 107 hits and 27 walks.
These are rare numbers for any rookie starter, but considering that he comes at you with 6 pitches^^ (according to Brooks Baseball: sinker, 93.5mph average, 32% usage, four-seam, 94.5mph, 23%, curve, 83mph, 16%, cutter, 91.5mph, 15%, Slider, 88mph, 8%, Changeup, 86mph, 6%), Stroman’s rookie campaign and potential become downright scary.

L T P

^ WHIP, or walks plus hits per inning pitched, is an increasingly commonly used pitching stat. Zack Greinke leads the majors at .85, while Stroman’s 1.078 mark would be good for 17th, right behind #16 David Price, 1.077, and just ahead of Marco Estrada’s 1.082.
^^ A 6 pitch repertoire is nearly double the major league average.

#BlueJays win 5-2, demoralize Royals with long ball

Very happy to say that I have come to expect the Jays to go yard when I’m in attendance. So far the Jays have managed a respectable 3.33 HR per game clip when I’ve been able to attend. But even so, the power of all three blasts today was phenomenal to behold. I am guessing that the Royals noticed that power, and the effect it had on us fans. Could even be said that the sheer ferocity of the three Jays bombs threw their opponents off some. 🙂

Great win, and it will get more interesting very shortly, as the arrival of David Price will signal the beginning of the most pressurized “must-win now” chapter of a season for #BlueJays in recent memory.

– L t p

P.S. Darned impressive shutdown pitching from Estrada et al. tonight. Makes you think, what if this rejuvenated, all of a sudden steady (seeming) bullpen gets hot over the final 59 games? It sure would be nice to be in a post-season race with Hawkins, Sanchez and Osuna in form and ready to relieve your starters…

Donaldson AND Tulowitzki?

‪#‎Tulo‬ ‪#‎BlueJays‬ The Jays have just upgraded remarkably at shortstop.
Easily the best shortstop in baseball over the last five years, Troy Tulowitzki packs power, hits .299/.371/.513 for his career and provided elite defense up until this year. His offensive numbers have also slipped this year, which is the one tangible reason to justify his being traded at all. That and the obvious salary difference over time, as Tulo is signed through 2020. However, the Jays see good salary being picked up, Tulo being owed “only” 20M a year. That’s what they are paying Buerle, and Reyes was making 22…for two more years after this awful one.
Keep in mind that Tulowitzki’s current “off-year” has him sitting on a .300/.348/.471 line after a monstrous .340/.432/.603 in 2014.
Who do really like for your infield? If you had asked MLB managers and GMs before the season to pick, how many of them would have said “Donaldson and Tulowitzki” at 3B and SS?