So Marcus Stroman.
Marcus, apparently, had a successful simulated game today. 40 pitches. He said:
I feel great. 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.
I don't know what a successful simulated game looks like. And I don't know how fast the Jays would want him to ramp up to 100 pitches. If he threw 40 today, and figures to throw 65 Saturday. After that would be a minor league start, maybe 75 pitches, though that will depend on how things go. Likely one more minor league start after that and then it would be decision time.
The nice part is that (all going well) he would be coming back in September, when rosters are expanded and we would have extra bodies in the pen (not that we haven't had extra bodies in the pen most of the season). If he can only throw 70 pitches, when he joins the team, it really wouldn't be a big deal. We could cover the innings without leaving the team short for the next day.
If he was ready to join the Jays about the middle of September, he could have 4 regular season starts. That would give the team lots of information to make a decision on if he should pitching in the post-season (he says knocking on wood. I don't know about you guys, but when I read that the Jays have a 98% chance of making the playoffs(as Baseball Prospectus says today), I think 'hey, I've watched the Jays for a long time. We'll show you').
It is fun to think about him coming back. If he could be as good as last year, can you imagine having a 1 and 2 pitchers like Price and Stroman, going into a best of 7 playoff. Yeah, I know, getting ahead of things, but it is fun to imagine.
It's fun for me to think ahead, and skip steps. The Jays have to be more careful. As much as it would be great to have him in the rotation, they have to be careful with his arm. They don't want to do anything that will cost us from having him next season.
I'll admit, Marcus is a favorite of mine (and likely everyone else's). Jerry Howarth aside, I think most of us like to see players having fun. If you are likely enough to be playing a game for a living, you ought to be having fun. If someone paid me to play ball, I'd never stop smiling.
This season has been so much fun. Adding Stroman to the mix can only make it better.