Stroman expected to make next start as appeal plays out
NEW YORK -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons expects right-hander Marcus Stroman to start against the Yankees on Saturday as scheduled as the appeal process for his six-game suspension plays out.
Stroman threw a pitch over the head of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph during Monday's 5-2 loss in Baltimore that appeared to be in response for an incident earlier in the game when Jose Reyes felt that Joseph stepped on his hand while sliding into home. Major League Baseball issued the suspension Wednesday afternoon, which Stroman immediately appealed.
Stroman said on Thursday he had not heard anything new about the process or when his hearing would take place, and he maintained his position that he would not intentionally throw at someone's head.
He also did not dismiss the notion of dropping the appeal after he made his start on Saturday -- "I'd have to talk to my agents," he said -- which would give him time to serve his full suspension and start one of the final two games of the season.
Gibbons has set up a contingency plan if Stroman is forced to begin serving his suspension prior to Saturday. Gibbons would use a bullpen day, with right-hander Todd Redmond getting the start instead of one of the Blue Jays' younger pitchers, all of whom would not likely be able to throw more than two innings at this point of the year.
"Probably get our most innings out of Redmond ... but I anticipate Stro is going to start anyway," Gibbons said.
Dioner Navarro, struck on the mask by a foul tip on Tuesday night, pinch-hit in the seventh and finished the game behind the plate.
He was held out of the lineup on Wednesday for precautionary reasons after saying he felt "fuzzy" and did not start Thursday as is usual with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on the mound.