Tonawanda News — “Initially he got ahead real well,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson. “I think he has a tendency to nibble (the corners of the plate) a little bit when he does have two strikes to try and get that third strike on the corner. And if it’s not quite there your margin of error is slim. I’d like to see him get that ground ball in a double-play situation early in the count with one swing of the bat. But he’s not afraid out there.”
Stroman, ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Jays system, went 9-5 with with a 3.30 ERA in 20 games with Double-A New Hampshire last season. He was the Blue Jays first pick (23rd overall) in the 2012 First-Years Players Draft.
Stroman’s name was in play for a potential spot in the Jays pen and even at end of the rotation during spring training. Ultimately the Jays brass felt Stroman needed more seasoning in the minors.
Stroman also saw success with his secondary pitches, especially a change-up he has been focused on improving and using more.
“I feel like I had pretty good success with my change-up today,” he said. “So definitely throw that more.”
Stroman had plenty offensive support as the Herd batted through the order in the first, scoring four runs on five hits and one walk. Mike Nickeas (1 for 4) hit a two-run single that put the Bisons up 4-0.
Allenson was pleased to see his team score five of its six runs with two outs.
“I think today we kind of hit it where they weren’t,” he said. “A couple balls weren’t hit real well but found a hole, and that’s baseball.”
Bisons center fielder Anthony Gose went 2 for 4, drew a walk and scored twice. Coming off of a good spring training, Gose is looking to keep that momentum going after a disappointing 2013.