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Blue Jays' Stroman suffers season-ending knee injury

Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Marcus Stroman's season is over before it began. 

The Toronto Blue Jays right-hander suffered a torn left ACL and will be out for the entire 2015 year. He'll get a second opinion from surgeon James Andrews but the expectation is that the knee injury will keep him sidelined until 2016.

Stroman suffered the injury during pitchers' fielding practice Tuesday after he was called off by third baseman Josh Donaldson on a bunt drill. He planted his feet, then heard a pop and an MRI confirmed the grim diagnosis, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters

"Beyond devastated," Stroman tweeted. "Not being able to compete with my brothers each and every day is extremely disappointing. Still can't believe it."

Related: Blue Jays will be hard-pressed to overcome loss of Stroman

The 23-year-old - who made his major league debut last season - emerged as Toronto's top starter after transitioning to the rotation at the end of May. He posted a 3.65 ERA (2.84 FIP) with a 3.96 strikeout-to-walk rate over 130 2/3 innings following an impressive run in the minor leagues. Stroman's 3.3 WAR, according to FanGraphs, was tops among all rookie pitchers.  

"It's just one of those things," Anthopoulos said. "He's probably the best athlete on the team, as good of shape as anybody you're going to have, the last guy you would expect for that to happen. Just a freak thing and we move forward."


Fellow youngsters Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris are among the internal options the Blue Jays will turn to in order to fill Stroman's void in the rotation. Offseason acquisition Marco Estrada, whom the Blue Jays obtained from the Milwaukee Brewers, also stands to benefit from Stroman's absence. 

Related: Blue Jays players react to Stroman's injury

Sanchez, who dominated over 33 innings out of the bullpen last season, appeared destined for a relief role coming into camp and was tabbed to be the team's potential closer along with lefty Brett Cecil. His chances of cracking the rotation now greatly improve. 

Norris, who made the jump from High-A Dunedin to the majors last season, made five appearances with the Blue Jays in 2014 after thriving in the minor leagues. He was named Toronto's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America coming into the season. 

Blue Jays' Stroman suffers season-ending knee injury
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