Blue Jays may swap Stroman, Buehrle in rotation

Blue Jays may swap Stroman, Buehrle in rotation

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have at least contemplated making a change to their starting rotation for a pair of upcoming series against the Rays and Orioles.

Toronto manager John Gibbons admitted on Wednesday afternoon that the club has talked about moving Mark Buehrle's start up to Sunday vs. Tampa Bay, while rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman could be pushed back to Monday in Baltimore.

Gibbons said the main reason behind the move would be to buy an extra day of rest for Stroman. It's the type of cautious approach the Blue Jays have taken multiple times this year as they provide some additional rest for their young arms.

"We've talked about buying Stroman an extra couple of days," Gibbons said. "He's a youngster, like we've been doing all year. We haven't decided on anything but we could do that -- Buehrle on Sunday and Stroman on Monday. We've talked about it."

Extra rest might be the club's stated reason behind the possible change, but the numbers also will play a factor. Buehrle has a 4.67 ERA vs. Baltimore in three starts this year compared to a sparkling 2.08 ERA in five outings against the Rays. Stroman has a 5.73 ERA in two starts against Tampa Bay and has yet to face Baltimore.

Toronto has the luxury of making a change with their rotation because of Thursday's off-day. Even if Buehrle was to start on Sunday, he would be taking the mound on normal rest while Stroman would get an extra couple of days. The possible change also wouldn't impact the overall number of starts as each pitcher has three outings remaining.

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.