BALTIMORE -- Marcus Stroman is struggling, there's no denying that, but the 25-year-old insists he's in a positive frame of mind and just needs a little bit of time for everything to "click."Stroman was hit hard early and often during an 11-6 loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. He
BALTIMORE -- Marcus Stroman is struggling, there's no denying that, but the 25-year-old insists he's in a positive frame of mind and just needs a little bit of time for everything to "click."
Stroman was hit hard early and often during an 11-6 loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings, and it was a continuation of his problems since mid-May.
The third-year starter has allowed at least six runs in four of his past seven outings since May 17. Over that same span, Stroman is 2-3 with a 7.59 ERA, 60 hits, 12 walks and 26 strikeouts over 40 1/3 innings.
"I just lost the feel a little bit," said Stroman, whose season ERA rose to 5.23. "I'm just waiting for it to click. I feel like when it clicks again, I'll get rolling. It has been just kind of in and out lately the last few starts, just kind of searching for it. It's in there, it's just a matter of finding it and being way more consistent with it."
Stroman has struggled before, but this is the first time he has gone through this type of woes at the big league level. The biggest issue seems to be that he is leaving too many pitches up in the zone. Like any starter, he needs to pitch in the bottom half of the strike zone to be effective, and that hasn't happened a lot lately.
The recent struggles have caused some people to suggest that Stroman should be optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto does have a potentially promising backup in right-hander Drew Hutchison, but that move still won't happen any time soon.
Stroman is far too important to what the Blue Jays are trying to accomplish this season. He was bound to struggle at some point, but he has also come through in some big moments for this ballclub. With Aaron Sanchez eventually destined for the bullpen, Toronto needs Stroman to turn it around, and he'll be given every opportunity to do so.
"I feel like maybe I've been doing a little overanalyzing, so I think I'm just going to try to get away from it for this off-day [on Monday]," Stroman said. "Just really enjoy it, and then get back to work on Tuesday.
"Honestly, when I go out there, I usually don't think at all, I usually just let my instincts take over. That could be something that's be playing into it, maybe doing too much thinking, trying to get back to being right. I'm fine mentally, it's just a matter of getting back to where I need to be."
Stroman was not the only one who struggled against the Orioles on Sunday. Joe Biagini, Chad Girodo, Jesse Chavez and Drew Storen also got hit hard as the club surrendered a season-high 19 hits.
"It's a powerhouse team," manager John Gibbons said of Baltimore. "It's all about hitting your spots, and I don't think he did a very good job of that."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.