By Mike Harrington
It took an injury in the Toronto starting rotation and another blowup by the Blue Jays' bullpen but Bisons ace Marcus Stroman earned his first big-league callup to the Blue Jays late Saturday night.
Stroman had his contract purchased from Buffalo and will initially join the beleaguered Toronto bullpen after Blue Jays relievers gave up six runs over the seventh and eighth innings of an 8-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park. Following Friday's 6-5 loss to the Pirates, Toronto closer Sergio Santos was bounced from that role after giving up two ninth-inning home runs.
Starter Brandon Morrow was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a a torn sheath in his hand Saturday and could miss the rest of the season. That prompted Stroman's recall.
John Lott of the National Post has this recap of Saturday night's game, featuring many interesting quotes from the clubhouse on the bullpen woes. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet offers his views with this column.
Stroman, who turned 23 on Thursday, was Toronto's No. 1 draft pick in 2012. He is 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts for the Bisons, with 36 strikeouts and seven walks in 26 2/3 innings. He threw six no-hit innings in his last start Tuesday against Louisville but was pulled due to an 80-pitch limit.
Stroman will intially start in the bullpen, clearly piggy-backing Dustin McGowan's start Sunday in Pittsburgh and J.A. Happ's outing Monday in Philadelphia. Then we'll see if the Blue Jays put him in the rotation next weekend at home against the Los Angeles Angels. That's what I told the Blue Jays they needed to do in my column Thursday.
Stroman was scheduled to be the starter in the Bisons' road trip opener Monday at Gwinnett, so we'll also have to see how the Herd moves forward with its rotation.
An avid social media user, here's what Stroman had to say late Saturday night.
Dreams do come true. Wow! #surreal— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo7) May 4, 2014