TORONTO — Barring a change of heart, Marcus Stroman won’t be taking a mound of any sort until after the all-star break.
Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic included.
Charlie Montoyo had been holding out hope his ace would be able to recover from a left pectoral cramp in time to make a start this weekend, but the Jays manager backed off that idea Friday, saying Stroman’s injury hadn’t improved enough to let that happen.
Montoyo, however, had been leaving the door open for Stroman to pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cleveland because he had earned it.
“That’s up to him,” Montoyo said Friday evening. “If he feels better, I think it’s an honour that he made the club. If he feels right, that’s also good because it would work as a side and then he can pitch for us. But if he doesn’t feel right, I’m sure he’s not going to pitch in the game.”
Tracked down in the clubhouse a few minutes later, Stroman said it’s unlikely he takes the mound during his first all-star nod, but he still has a family trip to Cleveland booked in order to take part in the festivities.
“It wouldn’t be smart,” Stroman said.
Stroman also described the injury as a pulling sensation on the left side of his left pec, one that runs down close to his bicep, which helps explain why he was grabbing at his upper left arm when he was forced out of his start against the Kansas City Royals on June 29 at the start of the fifth inning.
With the Jays heading to the Bronx coming out of the break on Friday, Stroman said he hoped to throw a side session Friday and be lined up to start the series finale in his hometown on Sunday.
The Yankees are one of the many teams interested in the 28-year-old’s services, so there’s no doubt the Long Island native will want to put on a show against a tough lineup.
“We feel good that he should be able to start coming out of the break,” Montoyo said.