Stroman battles blister to gut out 7 2/3 innings

Finger issue not believed to be as serious as one that landed Sanchez on DL

July 23rd, 2017

CLEVELAND -- First it was and now it's who is dealing with a blister on his right hand that just won't go away.

Stroman initially developed the blister during a start against the Yankees before the All-Star break. It resurfaced during Toronto's 2-1 loss to Cleveland in 10 innings on Saturday night at Progressive Field, but he still found a way to toss 7 2/3 quality frames.

The 26-year-old had to go into the clubhouse between every inning and had the trainers visit him on the mound in the fourth. In the end, it didn't impact his performance as Stroman allowed one earned run while scattering five hits and striking out seven.

"Just the blister, I just had to kind of work around it," Stroman said after the game. "Just found a way to manipulate the ball where I wasn't aggravating it on every pitch, and when I really needed to go to it on that seam, I'd go to it, but just battled and had to work around that."

Sanchez has been limited to eight starts this season because of a blister and he was placed on the disabled list for the fourth time on Saturday afternoon. The two situations aren't really comparable in terms of location or severity of the issues -- at least not yet -- and that's good news for the Blue Jays.

When Sanchez was pitching earlier this year, his blister opened up and started bleeding all over the place. He later underwent surgery to have a portion of his nail removed, but he has yet to find a permanent solution that will work. Stroman hasn't dealt with those issues, but a blister did form before the All-Star break and required an early departure from that outing in New York.

Stroman found a way to pitch through it in Cleveland. He issued an uncharacteristically high five walks and he stayed away from the slider almost entirely during the early stages of his outing. But there was no open wound, at least not a visible one, and despite all of the attention from the medical staff, Stroman found a way to manage it and remain effective.

"It's been up and down but it's something I have to deal with," Stroman said. "Obviously, I'm not going to miss any starts. So it's something that I'll do everything in my power to get better before the next start, in between, with our training staff, and I'll be ready to go next time out."

One of the issues Saturday night was the high level of humidity. That led to a lot of sweating, and that's when blisters are most likely to form. Stroman used frequent trips to the clubhouse to cool down, and it appears as though Stroman avoided any kind of major setback for at least another outing.

In the end, it wasn't enough as hit a walk-off homer to give Cleveland the win, but Stroman's outing gave Toronto a chance.

"He grinded his butt off there tonight to pitch as well as he did," Blue Jays first baseman said. "He always gives us a chance to win ballgames. He pitches late into games and the blister thing started early in the game today, and for him to be able to grind through that, it was a great, gutsy effort by him."