The Toronto Blue Jays are promoting pitching prospect Marcus Stroman to the major leagues on Sunday, according to a team announcement. Corresponding moves to add him to the 25- and 40-man rosters will be made tomorrow.
Stroman, 23, will immediately join the Jays' bullpen instead of their rotation, according to reports. That comes as a bit of a surprise, as he has not seen time as a reliever in the minor leagues since 2012. Toronto's bullpen has struggled mightily this season, losing seven games and posting a 4.99 ERA, so the Jays hope that a young arm like Stroman's will provide an immediate boost. If one of the team's starters gets injured or struggles, Stroman could be slotted into the starting rotation.
A first round pick (22nd round) of the Blue Jays in 2012, Stroman has spent parts of three seasons in the minors, posting a 14-7 record and 3.03 ERA in 40 appearances (25 starts). He was very good last year with Double-A New Hampshire (9-5, 3.30 ERA in 20 starts) and has been even better to begin this season with Triple-A Buffalo (2-2, 1.69 ERA in 5 starts).
At the end of last season, Baseball America ranked Stroman as the second best prospect in the Jays' system and the 55th best prospect in all of baseball. He was ranked even higher by John Sickels of Minor League Ball (45th), MLB.com (52nd), and Baseball Prospectus (28th), coming in second to fellow right-hander Aaron Sanchez in the Jays' team rankings.
Stroman is known for having a good fastball in the 92-95 range, and has also been praised for his cutter and slider. At only 5'9", he is smaller than most pitchers, causing some to think that he could be better utilized as a late-inning reliever in the future.