Stroman feels great, wants to return to Blue Jays as starter

Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman throws his first successful simulation game, and doesn’t mince words when asked whether he wants to return to the club this season as a starter or reliever.

Marcus Stroman took another step in his recovery process, throwing a 40-pitch simulated game on Monday.

The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was pleased with his performance and says it’s a just a matter of time before he returns to the majors this season.

“I feel great,” Stroman told Sportsnet. “My pitches feel great. I was throwing all through the rehab process. I kept my pitches pretty sharp and was always practising, spinning the ball, and throwing my change-up throughout the entire summer so my pitches are ready to go.

“My knee is ready to go and it’s just a matter of getting the pitch count up.”

The 24-year-old, who tore the ACL in his left knee during a fielding drill in spring training, hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since the end of the 2014 season, but still wants to start when he comes back to the Blue Jays.

“Everything I did, from the two-a-day workouts to even being in school, everything was about being a starter,” Stroman said. “I’m in a position to do so. I’m ready to start. If they need me in the ‘pen, I’m willing to contribute in whatever facet they need me. I’m looking forward to come back and dominate.”

Stroman plans to throw another simulated game later in the week and, if all goes well, he should then be cleared for a minor-league rehab assignment.

“I’m looking forward to getting back and getting to the playoffs with the boys,” he said.

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