March 13, 2018 6:00 am

Rick Zamperin: Stroman ruled out for Opening Day… now what?

Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman has been ruled out as the team's Opening Day starter.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
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It has not been the most inspiring spring for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Jays are 8-10 in Grapefruit League action so far, which I think would be a good start for this team, come the first 18 games of the regular season.

But I couldn’t care less about Toronto’s record in Florida to be honest.

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I’m focusing on a few red flags that have popped up over the last few weeks — the contract status of third-baseman Josh Donaldson, the injury situation with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and the health of pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Which brings me to Monday’s announcement that Stroman will not be the team’s opening day starter when the Jays host the New York Yankees on March 29.

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Toronto’s ace is recovering from right shoulder inflammation and the team is taking a cautious approach with the 26-year-old right-hander, and rightfully so, although he could still pitch in the opening four-game series at the Dome against New York.

With Stroman unavailable, manager John Gibbons will now decide if Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez or newcomer Jaime Garcia gets the ball in the season opener.

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At this point, my money would be on Estrada because he’s had the best spring of the bunch and has delivered in big games in the past.

It’s not the end of the world that Stroman is going to miss opening day, but the baseball gods should have some good news for the Blue Jays this spring, right?

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