Somewhat overlooked in last night’s rain-shortened 7-5 loss to the Yankees was the fact that Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman experienced a resurfacing of his blister issues. Though Stroman himself didn’t speak to reporters after the game, manager John Gibbons told reporters that Stroman’s blister tore in the seventh inning of a recent dominant start against the Red Sox (h/t Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca). Gibbons also admitted that the club is considering a DL stint in order to get Stroman right again after he took 88 pitches to get through four innings last night (while giving up five earned runs).
More notes on a few pitchers around the league…
- Packed deep in a piece by Laura Albanese of Newsday are a few notable quotes by Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard that shed some (admittedly vague) light on his struggles and seeming fall from “ace” status. Not only is Thor upset about his inability to hold baserunners (the Phillies swiped five bags off him and batterymate Kevin Plawecki last night), but he also hinted at some wider mechanical issues he’s trying to work through. “It’s something I battle every day when I go out there,” said Syndergaard. “I’m just trying to correct a lot of things that I’ve been doing wrong for a long time.”
- Elsewhere in the National League, Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray still hasn’t been able to get back on track, as Nick Piecoro details in a piece for the Arizona Republic. After a breakout 2017 campaign, Ray’s been unable to deliver any semblance of a repeat performance this season after starting the year with diminished velocity and succumbing to an oblique injury. After walking five batters last night, Ray had the following to say about his command issues. “I just need to get back to what I do best and that’s pound the zone. I’ve got too good of stuff to be pitching around the zone. I’ve just got to attack guys and then my off-speed stuff gets better.” Interestingly, Ray felt confident while warming up yesterday and felt in complete command of his pitches. He wonders whether a “lack of focus” could be to blame.
- Though the early returns of the Alex Cobb signing didn’t look good for the Orioles, the return to effectiveness of his change-up seems to have vaulted the right-hander back to his previous form, as Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun details in this piece. He notes that Cobb’s given up just nine hits on 184 change-ups since the All-Star break. His confidence in the pitch has led to him almost doubling its usage lately, and the results have spoken for themselves. Cobb’s strung together four consecutive quality starts of late, posting a 2.08 ERA with a 54.9% ground ball rate during that span.