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Marcus Stroman named Opening Day starter

Charlie Montoyo announced his preliminary plan for the Blue Jays’ starting rotation to kick off the season in a couple weeks. Marcus Stroman will get the ball on Opening Day against the Tigers, Ryan Borucki will travel north with the team, and Clayton Richard will be the fifth starter as Clay Buchholz won’t be ready to start the season.

There aren’t really any surprises in this announcement. The big news is that Stroman will be handed the ball on Opening Day, which is a good thing because that seems to matter to him more than it would for Aaron Sanchez. And, if we’re being totally honest, it seems the Jays’ goal is for Stroman to be happy and successful this season so that they can pump his value and pull the trigger on a trade. There’s merit to giving him the Opening Day gig, of course, but there’s a lot of, you know, drama avoidance with that decision too.

The other interesting yet not overly surprising news here is that Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t yet pitched in spring training, will not be ready for the beginning of the season. When Buchholz was signed, there was some worry that it would be Ryan Borucki getting shoved down to Triple-A Buffalo, but given the fact Clayton Richard is the team’s fifth starter, it seems the rookie is higher on the team’s depth chart.

I imagine that when Buchholz is good to go, Richard will be slotted into the bullpen as the team’s long reliever. Of course, this is Borucki’s job to lose. if he does struggle at the Major League level, the Jays will have Richard available on the 25-man roster to slide back into the rotation in order to give Borucki reps in Buffalo.

Opening Day! It’s just over two weeks away!