Blue Jays: Stroman’s value beyond the mound

May 1, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Marcus Stroman brings a great deal of value to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, both on and off the field.

Over the last couple of seasons, the Blue Jays have been very fortunate with the performance and health of their starting pitching staff. While many fans expected the Jays to go as far as their bats would take them in 2016, it was actually their rotation that carried them into the postseason, as the AL’s most productive group of starters.

The Blue Jays will return a group of familiar faces to their rotation this year in Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Francisco Liriano and Marcus Stroman.

At this stage of spring training, it remains to be seen how John Gibbons will line up his starting five. Fortunately for Gibby, it’s difficult to envision a scenario where he makes a bad choice, as the reality is, the Jays have as much talent in the rotation as they’ve had for more than a decade.

Beyond their performance on the field, the Blue Jays have also been fortunate with the other intangibles that their pitching staff has brought to the organization. Starters like Happ, Estrada and Liriano bring plenty of experience, and 3 collective appearances in the All-Star game. In Sanchez and Stroman, the Blue Jays have two potential arms that could feasibly compete for the Cy Young award in the not-so-distant future. .

For Stroman, the young right-hander brings plenty to the table, even without picking up a baseball. His attitude is obviously infectious, as he’s indisputably the star of Twitter when it comes to Blue Jays’ fans. Here is exhibit A, courtesy of @playerstribune:

With over 311,000 followers, Marcus Stroman has developed a loyal following online. Obviously his skills on the field provide the catalyst for his popularity, but it’s far more complicated than that for the charismatic 25 year old.

Working under the Twitter handle @MStrooo6, the New York native has a very active social media account that he uses to keep fans updated, promote what he’s up to, and also show fans his lighter side. While he’s competitive (surprise, surprise), Stroman is a natural born entertainer who makes an interesting follow, whether it’s his day to start or not.

While it’s not technically part of his job, the “Stro-show” does a fantastic job of helping the Blue Jays promote their brand, and in the process, also promoting his own brand. Stroman is responsible for several posts about HDMH (Heigh Doesn’t Measure Heart), which serves as inspiration to many under-sized athletes.

Standing just 5’8, Stroman has defied the expectations of many scouts with his development as a pitcher. While he struggled at times in 2016 (after knee surgery in 2015), the Duke University product quickly became one of the most popular athletes around these parts, especially for the Blue Jays.

While it may not show up on the stat sheet, Stroman’s constant Twitter presence is of great value to the Blue Jays, and all of those who he connects with on social media. He is a consistent source of entertainment, Blue Jays news, and most importantly, a positive attitude and great teammate.

While he may have left a little to be desired on the field in 2016, the talented starter showed more than enough promise to still believe in his upside, especially when 100% healthy. Following him in the offseason and witnessing how motivated he appears to be, you can’t help but root for the guy.

Next: Joe Biagini: Starter or Reliever?

In 2016, Stroman finished the season with a 9-10 record with a 4.37 ERA, far worse than Blue Jays pundits had hoped to see from him in his 3rd big league campaign. That said, a healthy and happy Stroman pitched to a 3.68 ERA in the second half, leading many to believe we could be on the cusp of big things on the field from the talented starter.