Marcus Stroman ready to lead the way
With David Price gone to Boston, the Blue Jays are in need of a true ace.
Cue the energetic Marcus Stroman.
Since coming back from a torn ACL in six months to display dominance in the postseason, it is well received that Stroman will be the the guy on the mound come opening day. The Duke product not only came back from an injury that usually has athletes in tears, knowing their season is over, but he toed the rubber in numerous crucial situations. He was the man that pitched six solid frames in the tilt that catapulted Toronto to the ALCS and is the man that will become a staple for this rotation.
“I want to be the ace of the staff for many, many years. I want to be the best in the game. That’s why I work like I do. And i’ll continue to do so until I am,” Stroman said in the Arden Zwelling piece “I want to be the ace.”
The return was legendary for the 5’8” pitcher, something that he tweeted days after initially tearing his ACL. What is concerning are the people following him in the rotation.
As of now, the rotation is as follows: Stroman, Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ and either Drew Hutchison or Chavez. Sanchez will battle for the fifth spot as well. If Estrada can relive last season where he possessed one of the nastiest change ups in the game, he can only build on his 13-8 season. Regression is possible, but it is hard not to be optimistic after his performance. Both Dickey and Happ had unbelievable second halfs to the season. 8-1, 2.80 ERA for the former and a 7-3 record with a 2.95 ERA for the latter.
The playoffs are entirely reachable for this 2016 Blue Jays team. The back half of the rotation may have some work to do, but general manager Ross Atkins has already come out and said that there is a strong possibility this team is still not done making moves. This includes, but is not limited to, talking with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion who are in the final years of their contract.