Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect Stroman to join 'pen

Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect Stroman to join 'pen

PITTSBURGH -- Marcus Stroman is headed to Pittsburgh, where he will join the Blue Jays prior to their game against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

Toronto announced late Saturday night that Stroman would have his contract purchased from Triple-A Buffalo before the club's series finale at PNC Park. A corresponding roster move was not expected to be announced until Sunday morning.

It had been speculated for the past couple of weeks that Stroman was on the verge of being called up to take over a spot in the rotation, but that does not appear to be the case. At least, not yet.

"He'll be going to the 'pen, to start with anyways," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Stroman is rated the No. 2 prospect in the Blue Jays' organization by MLB.com. He allowed just five runs in 26 2/3 innings (1.69 ERA) with Buffalo and is coming off an outing during which he did not allow a hit over six innings while walking just one and striking out 10.

For the immediate future, Stroman will help provide some much-needed depth to the Blue Jays' bullpen, which has been reeling for the past two weeks. Dating back to Game 2 of a doubleheader in Minnesota on April 17, Toronto's relievers have combined to allow 40 earned runs, 55 hits and 33 walks over 48 1/3 innings.

Stroman's transition to the bullpen, though, could be relatively short-lived. Toronto is expected to closely monitor the situations of both Dustin McGowan and J.A. Happ. If either pitcher struggles in the coming week or two, the Blue Jays would most likely make yet another move and put Stroman into the starting five.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.