Blue Jays place RHP Stroman on DL over blister issues

The frustrating 2018 season for Marcus Stroman continues.

Expected to be the Toronto Blue Jays’ frontline starter this season, the right-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list before Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, the team announced.

In addition to Stroman’s DL move, Toronto sent right-hander Luis Santos to Triple-A Buffalo. In corresponding maneuvers, the Blue Jays selected the contract of righty Justin Shafer from Buffalo and recalled left-hander Thomas Pannone. To make room on the 40-man roster for Shafer, right-hander Aaron Sanchez was shifted to the 60-day DL (retroactive to June 22).

Stroman has suffered through problems with blisters over his past three starts, including a brief four-inning stint against the Yankees in a loss on Friday. The 27-year-old had remained effective in his prior two starts in no-decisions against Boston and Tampa Bay, allowing just one earned run in 12 innings in those two starts.

But he told reporters on Saturday that he might have to stop pitching through the issue for the time being.

“It has kind of been something I’ve prided myself on getting through, and I’m never one to bark about this being an issue, ever,” Stroman said, per MLB.com. “I pride myself on being able to go out there and battle regardless of what I have going on, and I’ve gotten out there and I want to continue to go out there.

“I’m going to get through this, because that’s who I am. But at this point right now I’ve just got to let it heal for a few days and kind of let that skin fully get back to being healthy.”

After a breakthrough season in 2017, when Stroman went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in a career-best 33 starts, the right hander battled shoulder inflammation in the spring and early part of the regular season, when he opened at 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his first seven starts before a six-week DL stint.

Stroman has thrown more than 200 innings in each of the past two seasons, but he has thrown only 100 2/3 thus far in 2018. For the season, Stroman is 4-8 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA in 18 starts.

Pannone, 24, is expected to fill Stroman’s spot in Toronto’s rotation on Wednesday against Baltimore. The southpaw has pitched in three games with Toronto this season in relief, allowing two runs and three hits in three innings. He has made nine starts at three minor league levels this seasons (High-A, Double-A, Triple-A), going 0-4 with a 5.36 ERA.

Shafer, 25, has pitched for both Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo this season, going a combined 5-5 with a 1.17 ERA in 45 relief appearances. He was originally an eighth-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Santos, 27, is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA for the Blue Jays this season. In 15 outings (one start), he has struck out 24 and walked 10 in 20 innings.

–Field Level Media

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