Marcus Stroman won't be schooling hitters this summer. He'll be schooling himself.
The Toronto Blue Jays righthander, 23, had surgery March 19 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will miss the entire 2015 season. So with ample free time, the former Patchogue-Medford star is headed back to Duke University to start classes on May 13 and finish his bachelor of arts degree in sociology.
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"It made total sense to finish my degree now," said Stroman, who went 11-6 in his rookie season. "And it's super-important to my parents that I finish school. This was a logical move. I don't like sitting around with nothing to do, so this will keep me focused and busy."
His father, Earl Stroman, said his son had every intention of finishing school. "He never wanted to go to a school that was just a baseball factory," he said. "It was always school first and getting that higher education. He wants that Duke degree."
Stroman said he'll live off- campus in Durham and continue his rehabilitation with the Duke physical therapy staff. The two-time Academic All-American also was on the academic honor roll three consecutive years before Toronto chose him with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2012 major league amateur draft.
"The Blue Jays have a professional on the Duke staff and they'll monitor his rehab while he is at the school this summer," Earl Stroman said. "I'm so happy about him making the decision to finish his degree. It's the perfect opportunity to get it done."
Stroman needs five classes to complete his degree.
"I'm really excited about Duke and the challenges ahead in my rehab," said Stroman, who began physical therapy this past week, is in a full leg brace and gets around on crutches. "I'm not ruling out that I won't be back this year. I'll be in Toronto on the weekends the team is home to support the team."
The Blue Jays have a Marcus Stroman bobblehead night planned June 7.
"Oh,'' he said, laughing, "I'll be there for that one."