PITTSBURGH – Brandon Morrow's MRI results are in and they're not good.
The 29-year-old felt something pop in his right index finger in the fifth inning of his Friday night start against the Pirates. He, and the Blue Jays, now know the cause: a torn tendon sheath. He's been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
"If he heals up he should be back in July," said manager John Gibbons. "If it's not healing up they'll have to do surgery and he'll be done for the year, probably."
The injury is the latest setback for Morrow in what's become a star-crossed career. After making 26 and 30 starts in 2010 and 2011, respectively, Morrow has been limited to only 37 appearances since the beginning of the 2012 season.
In 2012, he began to show what the front office believes he could be, posting 10 wins, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.115 WHIP. An oblique strain cost Morrow more than two months that summer and while subsequent injuries, to his forearm and now his finger, were unrelated, it was a sign of things to come.
The Blue Jays will select the contract of Marcus Stroman and he'll be at PNC Park in time for Sunday's series finale with the Pirates.
Gibbons plans to begin with Stroman in the bullpen, although the 23-year-old acclimated well to his first taste of Triple-A baseball.
Stroman is 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA, a 1.088 WHIP and 36 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings for the Buffalo Bisons this season. In his last start, Stroman struck out 10 and didn't allow a hit over six innings. At one point, he retired 16 consecutive Louisville Bats' hitters.
As for the starting rotation, Gibbons will send Dustin McGowan to the mound against the Pirates on Sunday. Left-hander J.A. Happ is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Monday in Philadelphia, followed by Drew Hutchison on Tuesday.
Sending Morrow to the 60-day disabled list opens up a spot on the 40-man roster for Stroman. The Blue Jays still need to clear space for Stroman on the 25-man active roster. A corresponding move will be made before Sunday's game.