Well something good came from Marcus Stroman's suspension! Because Stroman's slot was vacated due to six-game suspension, an open slot appeared in the Blue Jays' rotation and the Blue Jays have rewarded Daniel Norris to fill that space, according to Sportsnet's Barry Davis.
And Daniel Norris's reaction to the news?
The projected rotation to round out the season, via TSN's Scott MacArthur, will be Drew Hutchison on Friday, J.A. Happ on Saturday, and R.A. Dickey on Sunday. That means Marcus Stroman would be available for a possible wild card tiebreaker game, which is still mathematically possible.
I've said it many times, but it is incredible to see the 21-year-old Norris get a major league start after struggling in Lansing just 14 months ago. Norris last started on August 26 for the Bisons (throwing 91 pitches), and have thrown 30, 6, 24, 21, and 28 pitches in the five appearances (last four MLB) since. Unless he is very efficient, I can't see him get past three innings on Thursday against the Mariners.
Daniel Norris is due to become just the ninth pitcher to start a game for the Blue Jays, and really only the second spot starter (after Liam Hendriks). Last year, 13 pitchers were used (remember Aaron Laffey?).
I'm going to say that the Blue Jays aren't exactly trotting out their Opening Day lineup tonight against Felix Hernandez (via MacArthur). Let's compare that with the lineup that the Angels trotted out to face the King in his last start:
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS 2014-09-23||LOS ANGELES ANGELS 2014-09-18|
|Jose Reyes - SS (103 wRC+)||Tony Campana - CF (78 wRC+)*|
|Jose Bautista - RF (161 wRC+)||Gordon Beckham - SS (113 wRC+)|
|Edwin Encarnacion - dh (152 wRC+)||Brennan Boesch - RF (39 wRC+)|
|Adam Lind - 1B (144 wRC+)||C.J. Cron - DH (121 wRC+)|
|Munenori Kawasaki - 3B (80 wRC+)||Efren Navarro - 1B (84 wRC+)|
|Dalton Pompey - LF (-5 wRC+)||Grant Green - 2B (88 wRC+)|
|Anthony Gose - CF (72 wRC+)||Hank Conger - C (82 wRC+)|
|Josh Thole - C (89 wRC+)||Luis Jimenez - 3B (19 wRC+)|
|Ryan Goins - 2B (24 wRC+)||Shawn O'Malley - LF (30 wRC+)|
*wRC+ data is through 2014-09-22. Just for fun comparison, of course there are sample size issues, etc.
Hernandez went seven scoreless, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out 11. The Angels managed to get four balls out of the infield against Hernandez on the 18th, so I'm guessing the Jays' lineup can get at least seven, no?