Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman will start against the New York Yankees on Saturday in his first major league appearance since tearing his ACL in spring training. Manager John Gibbons confirmed his plan to send Stroman to the mound in an interview with MLB Network.
Stroman tore the ACL in his left knee during fielding drills on March 19. He spent the spring and summer rehabbing in North Carolina and finishing his degree at Duke University while remaining adamant that he would return to the Blue Jays’ rotation at some point this season.
Stroman threw off a mound in August for the first time since the injury. He made two rehab starts in September—one for Class A Lansing on Sept. 2 and one on Monday for Triple A Buffalo—and declared himself ready to go.
“My arm felt great, knee felt great,” Stroman said after allowing four runs and eight hits in three innings with Buffalo, according to Sportsnet.ca. “The results didn’t say so but my stuff felt unreal. I know people are going to say, ‘Oh, he didn’t have a good start.’ But stuff-wise, arm-wise, knee-wise, health-wise—I’m ready to go.”
Stroman, 24, had a 3.65 ERA in 130 2/3 innings as a rookie last season. His 1.171 WHIP was the best of any Toronto starter in 2014.
The Blue Jays and Yankees begin a pivotal four-game series on Thursday night in the Bronx. Toronto currently holds a 1/2-game lead over New York in the AL East race.
- Dan Gartland