DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman will miss the entire season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during fielding drills on Tuesday.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos said the 23-year-old right-hander will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, and surgery is likely.
Anthopoulos said Stroman was participating in bunting practice when he was called off by third baseman Josh Donaldson. Stroman planted his feet to stop, then felt a pop in his knee. An MRI confirmed the tear.
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”He’s a great starter. He did a great job for us last year, but you move forward,” Anthopoulos said. ”That’s all you can do. … No doubt, to lose a guy like Stroman is a significant loss for us.”
Stroman was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 26 games last year.
Toronto’s options to replace him in the rotation include right-handers Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada and lefty Daniel Norris, the team’s top pitching prospect. Jeff Francis, in camp with a minor league contract, is another possibility.
Anthopoulos didn’t rule out the possibility of a trade.
Also Tuesday, Toronto said Edwin Encarnacion likely will be sidelined for four-to-five days because of back inflammation.
The two-time All-Star said he felt a little tightness after Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh and had a precautionary MRI on Monday night.
”We’re checking it today to see what I have,” Encarnacion saidy. ”It’s something I want to make sure it’s right. … I want to do that before I continue my work.”
Manager John Gibbons expects the first baseman-designated hitter to return to the lineup in about a week.
”It’s just irritation, you know, a lot of swings early in camp,” Gibbons said. ”There’s no damage in there.”
Encarnacion hit .268 with 34 homers and 98 RBIs in 128 games last season, hindered by a right quadriceps injury throughout the second half. He is hitless in six plate appearances in spring training.