A Blog of Toronto Blue Jays Prospects Interviews, Evaluations and News

Marcus Stroman Shines in First Rehab Start

Stroshow makes his Lansing debut with lights-out performance

Marcus Stroman Shines in First Rehab Start

September 3, 2015

RHP Marcus Stroman made his Lansing Lugnuts debut in a rehab start for the Toronto Blue Jays. (Kyle Castle/MiLB.com)

RHP Marcus Stroman made his Lansing Lugnuts debut in a rehab start for the Toronto Blue Jays. (Kyle Castle/MiLB.com)

There was a special moment that took place for the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday night. Despite a 7-4 late inning defeat by the Great Lakes Loons; fans of the Blue Jays low-A affiliate were treated to the unique opportunity to watch a major leaguer compete for their home town ball club.

This experience doesn’t happen often in the Midwest League so when Blue Jays’ right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman announced on his Twitter last week that he was making a rehab start for the Lugnuts on September 2nd, it led to a feeling of sheer excitement from baseball enthusiasts in Michigan’s capital city.

While his expectations were high in his first start of the regular season, nobody saw Stroman’s performance coming as he put on a clinic with his excellent command of six different pitches.

“It felt good to just get back out there,” said Stroman. “It was great to see all the hard work accumulate. It was special to go out there at the five-month point after surgery. To go out there and compete like I did was pretty inspiring.”

“I would like to improve my fastball command a bit before my next start,” Stroman added. “But as far as my pitches go they felt great. My changeup felt really good, my cutter felt great, my slider felt great, my curveball felt good, and my sinker felt good. I feel I’m right where I need to be.”

Having a guy like Marcus Stroman around brings extra energy to our clubhouse

This command helped Stroman throw 4 2/3 no-hit innings which saw the big leaguer strikeout seven batters, while only walking one on the night. The great performance all began with high tempo in the first inning as the righty was excited for the opportunity to return to the hill.

Predicting just that from Stroman prior to the game Lansing Lugnuts pitching coach Jeff Ware went into full detail on what he expected to see from the 24-year old pitcher in his first rehab stint of the season.

“I wanted to see Marcus Stroman be aggressive out there,” explained Ware. “This was his first live action start since coming back from the ACL injury. It was under the lights and I expected him to be a little bit excited throughout the first inning than you’ll see him settle down a bit and start pitching. He entered the game with 65-to-70 pitches. I know he wanted to use each pitch and throw them for strikes. He wanted to get some work in here and get ahead in counts. When he’s ahead he wants to expand the strike zone, while getting some ground ball outs as well.”

While he had to take a step back from the game he loved for five-months. Stroman feels he’s right where he needs to be to re-join his Blue Jays’ teammates for the remainder of September and a potential playoff run next month.

“I’m so happy to be getting back to being around my brothers,” stated Stroman. “It’s awful sitting there watching games and knowing you’re supposed to be a part of something. It’s tough to do and not go crazy, so I’m very excited to get back to Toronto and be around all the guys.”

Stroman said all along that he would be available for a playoff run if it presented itself even though his initial prognosis was saying he would miss the entire 2015 season. The young pitcher discusses what motivated him to make such a statement when the injury happened.

“It just shows hard work pays off in the end,” stated Stroman. “Nobody puts higher expectations on me than myself. No one has more confidence in me than myself. I’m ready. I’m more hungry than ever before. I’m ready to get back to the big leagues and contribute to the team in the playoffs and do something special.”

His ability to follow through on his promise really impressed Jeff Ware who feels this opportunity to return to action this late in the season is a testament to the kind of work ethic Stroman has inside him.

“Marcus is a tremendous worker and he wanted to get back as soon as possible,” said Ware. “Marcus has a lot of drive and work ethic which is why he was able to battle back so quickly.”

Obviously this opportunity is something that Stroman is extremely proud of as it took a lot of hard work and determination to speed up the process. And with the accisitions the club made at the trade deadline, Stroman is chomping at the bit of returning with the big club later this month.

While Blue Jays fans are excited at the thought of having the up-and-coming star back in the club’s rotation, players in the Lansing Lugnuts’ locker room relished the opportunity of having a major league talent around for a couple days to learn from his experiences first hand.

“Having a guy like Marcus Stroman around brings extra energy to our clubhouse,” stated Ware. “It’s an opportunity for the younger guys to watch him and see what his work ethic and focus is like. I think being able to see him compete on the mound is a great learning tool for the young guys.”

With another rehab start in Pawtucket as a member of the Buffalo Bisons taking place on September 7th. Stroman could return to the Blue Jays by the end of next week.

One thing is for certain, Blue Jays fans cannot wait for the Stroshow.

Brian Crawford

Brian Crawford

Brian has covered professional baseball for eight seasons for numerous media outlets.
Brian Crawford