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Stroman (shoulder) feeling fine after long toss

Blue Jays trim roster; Garcia pleased with start
MLB.com @gregorMLB

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Marcus Stroman cleared another hurdle on his road to recovery from a right shoulder injury, and it's worth noting the Blue Jays have yet to rule him out for the start of the season.

Stroman played long toss Saturday morning for the first time since he was shut down late last month because of right shoulder inflammation. He came away from the session feeling fine and will now progress through the rest of his revised rehab schedule.

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Marcus Stroman cleared another hurdle on his road to recovery from a right shoulder injury, and it's worth noting the Blue Jays have yet to rule him out for the start of the season.

Stroman played long toss Saturday morning for the first time since he was shut down late last month because of right shoulder inflammation. He came away from the session feeling fine and will now progress through the rest of his revised rehab schedule.

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The right-hander is expected to throw off a mound early next week. If all goes well, Stroman will then likely appear in a Minor League game to begin the process of getting stretched out for the start of the regular season.

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"He felt great," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "When he came in, he told everybody. I think in a couple of days he'll go on a mound, in the bullpen, throw a side, and we'll see where it goes."

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When Stroman eventually throws off a mound, the Blue Jays will have just over two weeks remaining until Opening Day. That doesn't leave Stroman with a lot of time to get stretched out before the first week of the season, but there's still an outside chance he will be cleared in time.

Toronto's first game is against the Yankees on March 29. That start would have gone to Stroman, but it seems a little far-fetched to think he will be ready by then. A more realistic scenario would see the Blue Jays push Stroman's first outing to either the fourth or fifth game of the year.

Even that plan comes with a very aggressive timeline. Blue Jays starters have been gradually built up this spring with pitchers beginning with one inning in the first outing, two in the second, three in the third and so on. Stroman will be pushed along quicker than that, but the Blue Jays also have to make sure he doesn't rush back just for the sake of not missing a start or two.

"We have to be smart," Gibbons said. "We need him for six months. He's such an integral part of our team. He's ready, but like anybody else, when the season starts you have to have enough innings under your belt so you feel good and you're where you want to be. We'll see, we'll see how it all plays out."

Prospects cut from roster
The Blue Jays made their first round of cuts from the Major League portion of Spring Training on Saturday morning. Pitching prospects Jordan Romano, Sean Reid-Foley and Jon Harris were all returned to the Minors, while first baseman Rowdy Tellez was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Toronto's Minor League camp officially opened earlier this week at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin. None of the cuts came as a surprise with Romano, Reid-Foley and Harris all candidates to open the year in Buffalo's starting rotation. A trip to the Minor League side will open up more innings for them to get stretched out.

"It's getting to that point, once they start playing games, you'll see more and more guys going down," Gibbons said.

Video: DET@TOR: Garcia gets Reyes to hit into a double play

Garcia off to strong start
Lefty Jaime Garcia made his first start of the spring on Saturday afternoon and tossed three scoreless innings in a 6-3 victory over the Tigers. Garcia allowed three hits and walked one while striking out two. He got off to a bit of a delayed start after not signing until camp was under way, but the 31-year-old feels he's right where he needs to be at this point of the year.

"A couple of the guys could be a little ahead of me, but for me it's a different approach," Garcia said. "My goal is to be 100 percent ready to go in April and be 100 percent through October. That's the goal, and I really worked hard for that. Right now I feel right where I want to be, and I just have to continue to stay focused on one day at a time and be ready to help this team."

Up next
Right-hander Joe Biagini will make his fourth start of the spring when the Blue Jays host the Pirates on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:07 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on MLB.TV. Biagini would enter Toronto's rotation if Stroman is unable to begin the season on time, but otherwise likely will open the year in Buffalo. Relievers Danny Barnes, Matt Dermody and Deck McGuire are also scheduled to pitch.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman