San Diego Padres at Toronto Blue Jays
When and Where: Sunday, May 26, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 1:07 p.m. EDT.
Intrigue is the order of the day Sunday in Toronto, where Marcus Stroman’s uncertain future will get top billing as the Blue Jays try to avoid a sweep and close out their three-game series against one of his potential suitors, the surging San Diego Padres.
Paddack looks to further stellar stretch for Padres
Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93 ERA) was scheduled to start this game, but he was a late scratch due to a stiff neck. Robbie Erlin (0-0, 3.63) will get the call to make a spot start as it appears San Diego will have a bullpen day in the series finale.
Erlin was a part-time starter in 2018, making 12, but he has been used exclusively out of the bullpen this year. The left-hander has thrown 22 1-3 innings in 15 appearances, striking out 26.
He pitched a hitless inning of relief in Friday’s series opener and has not pitched more than three innings in any appearance this year.
Stroman continues to battle as trade rumors swirl
The Padres and Blue Jays were in active trade talks in December over Stroman (2-6, 2.81), and San Diego is still looking for a front-end, right-handed starter to balance its rotation.
The Padres do have enough depth in their farm system to make a trade happen, but the package of prospects will be the main haggling point on any deal since Stroman can become a free agent after 2020.
Stroman can empathize with Paddack over the lack of run support – Stroman’s 2.53 per start was third-worst in the majors entering play Saturday. But he was the beneficiary of a deluge of runs Tuesday as he held Boston to a solo homer and four other hits in six innings while working around six walks in a 10-3 victory.
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) May 22, 2019
And in keeping with his feisty nature, Stroman clapped back at Red Sox manager Alex Cora for his complaints about occasionally quick-pitching Red Sox hitters, tweeting:
“I compete. That’s it. Didn’t know I had to cater to opposing teams to like me. Everyone messes with timing, deliveries and pitching mechanics these days. Everyone. Get over it. I’m going to keep that dawg mentality always. Pops raised me right and approves of it all!”
Stroman split his two interleague starts last year but has a solid track record against the senior circuit, going 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 14 starts. The righty did not get a decision against San Diego in 2016 in his lone matchup with the Padres and is 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA in nine home starts versus National League opposition.
Padres slugger Manny Machado is no stranger to Stroman from his days with the Baltimore Orioles but is just 3 for 19 with a homer and a double in their matchups.
The Padres are:
- 10-19 in their last 29 interleague road games.
- 4-8 in their last 12 games vs. AL East opponents.
- 4-9 in their last 13 interleague road games vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Blue Jays are:
- 10-4 in Stroman’s last 14 interleague starts.
- 8-3 in their last 11 interleague home games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 11-5 in their last 16 interleague home games vs. right-handed starters.