DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Marcus Stroman had another slight setback in his quest for the final spot in Toronto's rotation when he allowed three runs during his start in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Rays.
Stroman retired six of the first seven batters he faced before getting into a jam during the third inning. He allowed a leadoff double to Jayson Nix and then proceeded to load the bases with nobody out.
Two runs would score on a single by Desmond Jennings and a double play off the bat of Matt Joyce. It could have been a lot of worse, but Stroman found a way to limit the damage, which can be considered a positive sign in his development.
"Any time you can get in a jam like that, not necessarily that you want to get in a jam like that, but being able to pitch out of that and do as much damage control as possible is something you look forward to," Stroman said. "I felt like I did a decent job there, it's just working on stuff so you can work out of those jams."
Stroman started to throw his changeup a lot more during Wednesday's outing, and that will be a big key to any type of success he has this season. He'll also need to work on keeping the ball down in the zone as evidenced by a poor pitch he threw to Jeremy Moore in the fourth inning that was sent over the wall in straightaway center.
It's very likely that Stroman would be best served with a little more seasoning in the Minor Leagues before making his debut, but he still remains in the mix for one of the club's final two spots in the rotation.
"Not exactly where I want to be, but I definitely made a lot better pitches than I made in my last outing," Stroman said. "My stuff felt better for the most part. I felt I did an OK job of pitching out of a jam in the second, but for the most part I think it was definitely strides from last time, and I'm excited to get into my 'pen again like last time and really finalize things and get them where I need to be."