Another sim game, then rehab for Stroman

Another sim game, then rehab for Stroman

ARLINGTON -- Marcus Stroman will pitch in another simulated game on Friday morning and is then tentatively scheduled to begin a brief rehab assignment with Class A Lansing on Sept. 2.

Stroman likely will be limited to 40 pitches in the simulated game. From there he will throw approximately 55 in a start for Lansing, and after that he is scheduled to be in the 70-75-pitch range for an outing with Triple-A Buffalo on Sept. 7.

Toronto has yet to rule out the possibility of Stroman joining the rotation upon his return to the big leagues, but a more realistic scenario would see him used out of the bullpen. Before the club makes any official announcement, it will wait to see how the next two weeks unfold.

"We haven't gotten that far," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "We're just going to see how he is. We're having him stretched out. Like we said before, it's always easier to shorten somebody up, so at any point in time, if we say, 'He has that one outing in Lansing and we want to put him in the bullpen as a two-inning guy,' we can do that.

"Right now he's being stretched out to start because at least it gives us more options, more flexibility. We're not committing to anything because we just don't know how his stuff's going to be, how his command's going to be."

The latest rehab schedule is a slight change from the one Stroman was believed to be following. Reports originally had him joining Buffalo on Sept. 2, but instead he'll get one start with Lansing before completing the Minor League season on Sept. 7 in Buffalo.

Stroman, who underwent surgery on his knee in March, made his return to the mound on Monday with a 40-pitch simulated game at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla He appeared to be overjoyed with the way things went and afterward talked about his desire to return as a starter but also added he would be willing to pitch in whatever role the Blue Jays need.

Anthopoulos was asked on Wednesday whether the club needed to temper Stroman's expectations for September, but that's not something he plans to do.

"That's who he is," Anthopoulos said. "You know the guy, you're never going to temper him. We told him before, if there are any concerns, we're going to shut him down. So we told him that, but you never want to take someone's enthusiasm away, his work ethic away.

"As long as there are no issues from a medical standpoint, let him be as excited and as confident, great. He's rehabbing, he's worked hard, he deserves it, he has earned it, don't ever want to take that away from him, and hopefully we don't have to."

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