The Toronto Blue Jays are aligning Marcus Stroman’s next start with that of Dustin McGowan, a sign the prized prospect may be nearing his big-league debut.
Stroman – 1-2 with a 2.18 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20.2 innings over four outings at triple-A Buffalo – was due to start Saturday for the Bisons, but a rainout Friday pushed everyone back a day.
Yet rather than pitch him on Sunday, when his next turn comes up, the plan is for him to start Tuesday against Louisville, which coincides with McGowan’s start in Kansas City.
On Thursday, manager John Gibbons said McGowan would start Tuesday as planned but his status beyond that was, “we’ll see.”
The Blue Jays have regarded Stroman as a fully formed pitcher ready for the majors since spring training, and assistant GM Tony LaCava told Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith this week that “it’s just a matter of the opportunity and the right time for him. We think his time is coming soon.”
Should McGowan falter or fail to pitch deep into the game Tuesday, Stroman could be in line to start May 4 in Pittsburgh.