Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman throws at spring training in Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Blue Jays Stroman relishes chance to start in Montreal series

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Marcus Stroman has one last exhibition start remaining before the regular season kicks off next week, and it’s the one he’s been looking forward to most.

Stroman, who was shut down for most of spring training with right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to pitch Monday at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in the opener of a two-game pre-season series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I can’t wait,” Stroman said Wednesday after pitching 2 2/3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. “I think Canadian fans are the best in the world. I love pitching in Toronto, I love pitching in Canada.

“We have an entire country that’s behind our backs each and every day and that’s extremely special. I love our fans, I get out there and see them every off-season across the country and I can’t wait to get there in Montreal, then against the Yankees on Sunday.”

Stroman was expected to be named the team’s opening day starter when camp opened last month.

His shoulder injury changed that, limiting the right-hander to just two appearances so far, and only one against major league talent. Stroman made his spring training debut last week with two solid innings against the Canadian junior national team.

His pitch count will be raised to around 70 for Monday’s start. Then he’s penciled in to pitch next Sunday at home against New York, the last game of the opening four-game series.

Held to a strict 55-pitch count for Wednesday’s start, Stroman was lifted from the game after just 2 2/3 innings. He allowed five hits, two runs — only one earned — walked one, struck out one and allowed one homer. He threw 54 pitches, 32 for strikes.

The 26-year-old didn’t seem fazed by that lacklustre stat line, though.

“Just a matter of getting my body right,” he said. “The arm felt great. Just another step to getting out there on the mound in season.”

Manager John Gibbons was encouraged by Wednesday’s performance.

“I thought he finished good,” Gibbons said. “He made some good pitches. He struggled, the ball was up high a little bit in that first inning but I thought he finished really strong.”

Just Posted

Red Deer record store celebrates its last Record Store Day

The Soundhouse, a guitar and record shop in downtown Red Deer, closes its doors next Saturday

WATCH: On 4—20 Day in Red Deer, marijuana users say legal weed a long time coming

Not wanting to wait for the federal government to legalize recreational marijuana,… Continue reading

Former Central Alberta MLA appealing fine for not protecting a list of 20,000 electors

List included names and addresses of voters in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Proposed Alberta legislation would protect consumers

Alberta Utilities Commission would be given power to penalize natural gas and electricity providers

Red Deer beginning two major construction projects

Ross Street’s 1935-era water main to be replaced and 67th Street roundabout landscaped

WATCH: Central Alberta bouldering competition

Central Alberta climbers looked to prove they’re the best at a competition… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP and Emergency Services play for Humboldt

Red Deer police officers and firefighters laced up their skates to raise… Continue reading

WATCH: Flooding closes portion of Red Deer’s 43 Street

A portion of 43 Street in Red Deer was closed Saturday morning… Continue reading

After air accidents, survivors grapple with flying again

Hundreds of hands grappling with oxygen masks. Flight attendants warning passengers to… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth to attend pop concert for 92nd birthday

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth is marking her 92nd birthday with a Saturday… Continue reading

‘Such a great person:’ Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos

STRASBOURG, Sask. — Mark Cross was a ferocious competitor when he played… Continue reading

UPDATE: Missing Innisfail woman located

A 54-year-old Innisfail woman, who had not been seen since Wednesday, has… Continue reading

Hellebuyck makes 30 saves, Jets beat Wild in Game 5 to advance to Round 2

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little’s teammates were happy they could deliver something special… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month