Toronto could turn to prospect for Friday start

Toronto could turn to prospect for Friday start

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still haven't made their decision on who their starting pitcher will be on Friday, but it may be a fresh face.

The club has yet to commit to anything, but both Sean Nolin -- ranked by MLB.com as the Blue Jays' No. 8 prospect -- and Marcus Stroman -- ranked No. 5 -- are on the team's radar.

Nolin, who's scheduled to pitch Thursday for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, has made an impression quickly after rebounding from a left groin injury.

In three starts with New Hampshire, the 6-foot-5 lefty has gone 2-0, allowing only two earned runs in 15 1/3 innings, while striking out 16.

Stroman, who's next scheduled start is Friday, has only made one appearance with New Hampshire since serving out his 50-game suspension. In that outing, he struck out six in five scoreless innings.

Whether or not either of them will start at this point is merely speculation, but earlier last week, general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted that both he and the club were encouraged by the two starters.

"Stroman, Nolin, you got those guys that we're high on," manager John Gibbons said on Wednesday, reiterating Anthopoulos' sentiments. "Those are guys we're going to count on down the road."

Although the two youngsters could be in the lineup soon, the Blue Jays still seem set on using Ramon Ortiz for his next scheduled start on Sunday vs. the Orioles.

"That's what we're looking at right now," Gibbons said.

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.