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Stroman promoted from Buffalo to Toronto
After five Triple-A starts, Blue Jays prospect headed to big league 'pen
05/04/2014 2:18 AM ET
Marcus Stroman held International League foes to a .222 batting average over five starts. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

In Marcus Stroman's most recent start for Triple-A Buffalo, he showed the kind of stuff that makes him MLB.com's No. 52 overall prospect.

In his next appearance, he'll be making his Major League debut.

The Blue Jays announced late Saturday night that they are purchasing Stroman's contract from the Bisons, with the 23-year-old right-hander joining the team in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.

"He got the call just before 11 p.m. and was so excited," Stroman's father, Earl Stroman, told New York's Newsday. "They're sending a car to drive him to Pittsburgh early Sunday morning. They couldn't find a flight to get him to Pittsburgh in time for the afternoon game, so he'll take the four-hour drive from Buffalo."

Stroman will begin working out of the Blue Jays bullpen, but it may not be long before he gets a chance to start.

"He'll be going to the 'pen, to start with anyways," Toronto manager John Gibbons told MLB.com.

The two starters at the back of the Blue Jays rotation -- Dustin McGowan and J.A. Happ -- have struggled this season. Another move might bring Stroman into the rotation if those problems persist.

Whatever the role, Stroman is thrilled to take it.

"It's the moment he's always dreamed about," Earl Stroman said. "Heck, it's the moment we've all prayed for. I'm very proud of him."

The Duke University product expressed his excitement via Twitter.

Stroman has made 40 professional appearances since Toronto selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Although his most recent 25 outings (20 last year for Double-A New Hampshire, five this season for Buffalo) have been starts, he pitched out of the bullpen 15 times in his first pro season with Short-Season Vancouver and Double-A New Hampshire.

The Medford, New York, native was the subject of speculation that built until his most recent start was pushed back and he was told he'd be limited to 80 pitches. In that outing, he struck out 10 and walked one over six hitless innings.

"Obviously, you hear all the talk, but it's not your decision. It's not in your power, so going into it, I'm just trying to do everything I can to help the Buffalo Bisons win," Stroman said after that start.

"It's just working, working on my whole game while I'm down here. Whenever that opportunity does come, I'm going to be excited. I don't know what else to say. I'm going to be excited."

Stroman leaves Buffalo with a 2-2 record and 1.69 ERA in five starts. Over 26 2/3 innings, he's struck out 36 batters and walked seven.

The Blue Jays will announce a corresponding roster move on Sunday.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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