Marcus Stroman hasn’t been told whether he’ll be the Toronto Blue Jays’ opening-day starter in 2016, but he’ll be ready for the opportunity should it arise.
In the midst of the Blue Jays’ Winter Tour, the 24-year-old right-hander joined Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday morning to discuss the 2016 season and the possibility of an opening-day start.
“I haven’t had that word yet,” Stroman said. “I’m just preparing as if I’m going to be, but I haven’t heard it yet.”
If and when Stroman is tabbed as the man to take the mound April 3 in Tampa, he’s confident he’ll be good to go.
"I feel like I'm ready to step into that role and be the guy. I feel like I prepare and work to be that guy, and I'm excited to be in that role."
A torn ACL derailed his 2015 season, so 2016 is primed to be Stroman's first full season in the big leagues. Of course, the Duke grad made a remarkable comeback from that devastating knee injury to help the Blue Jays surge to an AL East division title and all the way to Game 6 of the ALCS.
The Blue Jays have lost a couple big pieces from that team, but have made some additions that Stroman expects will help the team pick up where it left off.
"David Price left, and that’s a huge loss for us, but I think we’ve added some pieces … to make us better in certain areas, and I think we’re ready to go," he said. "There is a lot of skepticism going on there, but we’re excited about the team we have and we’re just ready to rock."
As for that reconstructed left knee, Stroman says there's no need to worry.
"I have no concerns. I'm still building, and working on my body and my knee now," Stroman said. "But I didn't have any concerns when I was out there in September and October, so there'll be no concerns in April at all."