DUNEDIN, Fla. – Marcus Stroman will start for the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League opener at Tampa Bay on April 3.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons made the expected announcement Wednesday.
“I’m honoured, I’m humbled,” Stroman said after throwing in a minor league game.
Gibbons also didn’t rule out Stroman from starting the home opener on April 8 against Boston.
“Possibility we can do that, too,” Gibbons said. “We’ve talked about it.”
Stroman said starting both openers would be “awesome.”
“I would definitely accept that and run with it,” Stroman said.
Despite missing the first five months last season after injuring his knee during fielding practice in March, Stroman returned for four starts in September, going 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA.
“This past year there were a lot of ups and downs,” Stroman said.
“I’m just thankful to be in the position I am. It’s my first opening day. I can’t wait.”
Stroman also started Toronto’s memorable come-from-behind triumph over Texas in the deciding Game 5 of the AL Division Series, then earned the win in Game 3 against Kansas City in the AL Championship Series.
Following the departure of 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price to the Boston Red Sox, Stroman will be looked upon to fill the void.
“We sure hope so,” Gibbons said. “You’re not going to replace Price, that’s pretty obvious. If we can get him to come close to what David normally does in a given year.”