Blue Jays right-hander and prime trade chip Marcus Stroman has been dealing with a left pectoral issue since June 29, but he expects to return to the mound Sunday, Scott Mitchell of TSN tweets. Stroman’s set to take the ball at Yankee Stadium against a team that has shown interest in acquiring him prior to the July 31 deadline. Whether it’s New York or another club that reels in the 28-year-old, expectations are he won’t be a member of Toronto’s roster once the calendar reaches August. That isn’t lost on Stroman. Regarding the Blue Jays, Stroman told Mitchell, “They haven’t had me in their plans for the future, and I’ve come to terms with it.”
Here’s more on a few other notable hurlers…
- Shoulder and lat injuries have kept Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez from taking a major league mound since May 11. It’s now likely Hernandez won’t rejoin Seattle’s staff until at least the end of July, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Hernandez may have even thrown his last pitch as a Mariner should more setbacks occur, per Divish. That would make for a sad ending in Seattle for the 33-year-old Hernandez, a free agent after the season. A career-long Mariner who debuted in 2005, King Felix enjoyed a long run as one of the majors’ premier aces, but the six-time All-Star and 2010 AL Cy Young winner is now in the throes of a sharp decline. Despite solid strikeout, walk and groundball rates (7.91 K/9, 1.86 BB/9, 50.0 GB%), Hernandez slumped to a 6.52 ERA/5.40 FIP in eight starts and 38 2/3 innings this season before going on the injured list.
- Elite Padres pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore is inching closer to a major league promotion. The Padres promoted the 20-year-old left-hander from High-A ball to the Double-A level Tuesday, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune relays. Gore, the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, ranks as a top 10 prospect according to Baseball America (No. 3), MLB.com (No. 3), ESPN’s Keith Law (No. 7) and FanGraphs (No. 10). After injuries limited Gore to 60 2/3 innings last season, he jumped out to a magnificent 1.02 ERA with 12.48 K/9 and 2.27 BB/9 in 79 1/3 High-A innings this year to earn a promotion.
- Unlike Gore, fellow high-end pitching prospect Forrest Whitley has failed to impress in 2019, Josh Norris of Baseball America observes. In addition to posting horrific numbers and battling injuries with the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate this season, Whitley has shown serious immaturity and underwhelming stuff on the mound, evaluators have told Norris. The 21-year-old did enter the season as the youngest player in the Pacific Coast League, though, Norris points out.