A couple weeks ago, when the Toronto Blue Jays signed Jaime Garcia to be the team’s fifth starter, it appeared to push Joe Biagini out of the major-league rotation mix. The discourse surrounding the right-hander quickly morphed – where would he fit best now? Atop triple-A Buffalo’s rotation as a starter or in the major-league bullpen where he had such success in 2016? Well, not so fast. With Marcus Stroman developing right shoulder inflammation, a setback that has put his status for the beginning of the regular season in jeopardy, Biagini is suddenly very much back in the picture for a major-league rotation job come opening day. This is why the Blue Jays kept Biagini on a starter’s track after acquiring Garcia, despite the club’s clear need for bullpen reinforcement. Six weeks in Florida is a long time. Someone’s bound to get hurt. “It always happens – something always happens,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Wednesday, bemoaning the inevitable injuries spring training bears. “With Stroman we don’t think it’s a big deal, but it’s also concerning. He’s one of our top guys.” It’s simply too far from opening day to determine whether Stroman will be ready for the beginning of the season or not. He says his goal is to be with the team for “the start of the season.” Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins feels the return is better characterized as “early in the season.” As with all things, it depends. The good news is the Blue Jays are protected against a potential Stroman absence with Biagini, who threw three innings of one-run ball Wednesday in his second outing of the spring. The 27-year-old ramped up to 40 pitches (28 strikes, six swinging), allowing only a groundball single up the middle and a solo shot, while inducing four outs on the ground, two in the air, and striking out three.
Joe Biagini takes positive steps as role is still being figured out
Sportsnet | Feb 28