Marcus Stroman Gets the Call – To Bullpen?

As per MLBTR:

The Blue Jays will call up right-handed pitching prospect Marcus Stroman, the team told reporters (including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca) after tonight’s loss to the Pirates.  Stroman will pitch out of the bullpen for the Jays, at least at first, though he has pitched exclusively as a starter for the last two minor league seasons and there had been rumors that he was on pace to join the rotation.  A corresponding move will come tomorrow, as Stroman isn’t on Toronto’s 40-man roster.

Stroman, who just turned 23 years old on Thursday, was taken by the Jays with the 22nd overall pick of the 2012 amateur draft.  He began his pro career in ignominious fashion by serving a 50-game suspension for a PED violation, but returned to post a 3.30 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and 4.78 K/BB rate over 20 Double-A starts in 2013 and has been even better in five Triple-A starts this season — a 1.69 ERA, 12.2 K/9 and 5.14 K/BB rate over 26 2/3 IP.

QUICK TAKE: I am not surprised that Stroman gets the nod as the next pitcher heading to the big leagues but I guess I am a bit perplexed as to why he won’t be in the rotation.  I would much rather see Dustin McGowan head back to the pen where he is probably going to end up anyway and just add JA Happ and Marcus Stroman to the rotation.

There are pitchers who have begun as relievers in the big leagues and still transitioned to the rotation successfully but given the Blue Jays track record of struggling to develop solid starting pitchers I wouldn’t take that chance with one of our best prospects at this juncture in his career.

Does the bullpen need help?  Absolutely.  But I just don’t think this is the smartest move for the franchise.

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