On-Base Perception

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Marcus Stroman makes MLB debut

Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman throws at the

Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman throws at the team's minor league complex in Dunedin, Fla. (Credit: Eddie Michels)

Marcus Stroman's journey from the high school fields at Patchogue-Medford to the big league mound as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays is complete.

Now, the former first round draft pick who worked through a PED-related suspension to emerge as one of 2014's brightest prospects can begin phase two: the career.

The Long Island native's first taste of the major leagues on Sunday was rocky.

He started the top of the eighth inning for the Jays, who had a 7-1 lead over the Pirates at PNC Park. His first batter, Travis Snyder, grounded out.

Then Josh Harrison tripled and Stroman hit Neil Walker with a pitch. Harrison scored when Andrew McCutchen hit a sacrifice fly to right, ending Stroman's day. Brett Cecil relieved Stroman and got out of the inning unscathed.

Stroman showed an encouraging mix of pitches during the outing: a fastball that averaged 93.6 mph, a cutter, curveball, slider and change-up. He's being tested in the bullpen for now, but with that arsenal -- and the Blue Jays' rotation troubles -- he may not be a reliever for long.

Stroman posted a 1.69 ERA in 26.2 innings (five starts) for Triple-A Indianapolis this season, striking out 37 and walking just seven. He's struck out 165 in 138.1 innings since he was converted to a starter before the 2013 season.

So it would be no surprise for him to make the transition from reliever to starter again.

Or to watch him dominate for a long time to come.

Tags: Marcus Stroman , Blue Jays , Long Island

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