Blue Jays: Dissecting Stroman’s struggles
By Joshua Giles
Marcus Stroman has been more or less disappointing so far this season for the Blue Jays after the first month of baseball.
For the Toronto Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman isn’t the ace that they have been relying on for the past few seasons. After the first five games of the season, he continues to struggle with an 8.88 ERA. However, there is still plenty of baseball left to play and he can still help the Jays in the long run.
The real problem is that he is just not pitching very well. Going into the game against the Twins he has a 0.9 WAR and no wins so far this season.
We could trace the root of the issue back to spring training. Stroman spent most of the month of March on the bench because of shoulder inflammation. He never had time to settle into baseball like most players do. There were even doubts that he would make it for opening day. Which he did not pitch.
Shoulder inflammation could still be affecting him to the point that he doesn’t feel 100%.
That would be a huge issue for Stroman because he relies on movement and rotation on his pitches to get him out of innings as opposed to pure power and/or placing.
The averages against almost every one of his pitches are really good in the batters favour (These stats are from the first five games and does not include his game against Minnesota):
Four-Seam Fastball: .429 AVG
Sinker: .279 AVG
Change-Up: .333 AVG
Slider: .267 AVG
Curve: 1.000 AVG (6 pitches)
Cutter: .000 AVG (4 pitches)
Clearly, the movement isn’t working in his favour and the batters aren’t being fooled by his pitches.
How to fix it
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It’s pretty obvious that there is something wrong with Stroman. He seems like the type of person who wants to play no matter what he’s going through. He has a burning passion for the game and a fire in his belly that is rarely seen among most major leaguers.
If my hunch about his shoulder is correct he would not, and should not be playing right now. Maybe let him rest for a couple of weeks and bring in Joe Biagini to start for that period. He wouldn’t play any worse than Stroman has so far.
When Stroman is at 100% then you bring him back into the rotation and hopefully we will see the Marcus Stroman of old that we know and love.
After pitching against Minnesota
Stroman had a solid outing against the Minnesota Twins going 7-innings and allowing only 2-runs while striking out five and walking only one.
That brings his ERA down to 7.52 which is pretty impressive but this was against the Minnesota Twins.
From what I saw during the game there was not much movement in his pitches and nothing really eye-popping from him. He was just playing a really not good baseball team.
As a team, their batting average is .239 and their OBP is .313 which isn’t anything phenomenal.
Next: Blue Jays: Chris Rowley is there if they need him
My point remains the same. Stroman isn’t at full capacity and he should take some time to rest his shoulder so he can get his mojo back.