Stroman to make adjustments to get out of 'rut'

Righty roughed up by AL East rivals, but ready to work to improve

Stroman to make adjustments to get out of 'rut'

BOSTON -- Marcus Stroman has hit a "rut," and the Blue Jays right-hander will need to make some adjustments before his next start to make sure his struggles don't linger for very long.

Stroman was roughed up yet again by a powerful Red Sox lineup in Saturday afternoon's 6-4 loss. He surrendered a lot of hard contact and had trouble locating some of his pitches, and the end result was a frustrating day on the mound.

This wasn't exactly a one-off type situation, either. Stroman has surrendered at least six runs in three of his past four starts, and his ERA has jumped from 3.54 on May 11 to 4.82 following the latest loss.

"They're a great lineup, one through nine," Stroman said of Boston. "They're well put together, they swing it well and they're all very hot. But I just wasn't executing. I just have to find out what's been going on, work on it and get back to how I have been in the past."

Stroman did not get into specifics when asked about what those adjustments will be. Instead, he mentioned that over the next few days, he will be watching video of his recent starts and comparing it to when he was throwing well earlier in the year and previously in his career.

The hope is that he'll be able to find something specific that can be fixed. Stroman will then carry that into his side session before eventually taking the mound on Thursday night against the Orioles.

"I'm not sure, to be honest with you, I'm just in a little bit of a rut," Stroman said. "Just struggling a little bit as of late, but I know my work ethic, and I know that I'll do everything in my power to get back to where it needs to be, and I'll do everything over these next four days to get it back to where it needs to be for Thursday. I'll just get back to work tomorrow."

One of the downsides to Toronto's schedule this season is that the club has so many games against its AL East rivals grouped together in large clusters. Stroman has faced AL East teams in eight of his 12 starts. There have been three outings against Boston, three against Tampa Bay, one against New York and soon to be a second vs. Baltimore.

That type of schedule isn't an excuse for the team because Blue Jays hitters have the same advantage. But it does make things a little more difficult for Toronto's pitchers, who don't exactly have many secrets vs. teams that have faced them so many times.

Stroman surrendered a career-high seven runs vs. Boston on May 28 and six more on Saturday. Facing a powerful lineup like the Red Sox's twice in a row isn't fun for any pitcher, but now it will be up to Stroman to make the adjustments so that his next outing and the ones that follow show different results.

"He's not invincible," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's like any pitcher that's ever pitched in this game. Some days, you're going to get hit around. But when you face a team so many times, they have a better idea of what you're doing, just like we battled their guys. There's very few shutouts thrown in this business, but it's not the end of the world by any means."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. 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.