Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays fans have seen this Marcus Stroman situation before

Craig Borden
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 02: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays walks back to the dugout after pitching against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of the game on May 2, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Blue Jays 4-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 02: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays walks back to the dugout after pitching against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of the game on May 2, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Blue Jays 4-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Marcus Stroman has had a horrific start to the 2018 season. He has shown flashes of what Toronto Blue Jays fans have gotten used to but for the most part, but it is starting to remind this writer of a ghost from the Blue Jays past.

First, we have to take a trip back in time to the 2011 season. I hope your flux capacitors are fluxing or you can at least join me for a trip down memory lane. This was the first season that the Toronto Blue Jays had John Farrell managing in which he led them to yet another year of mediocre baseball and an 81-81 record. With the promise of building off of a decent season in 2010, this was not what many Blue Jays fans were looking for.

In 2011 there was little to really get excited about outside of Jose Bautista and Ricky Romero as far as player performances go. The 2011 rosters best contributors outside of those two with WAR’s above 2.0 were Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie, and Carlos Villanueva. You can see why it was a tough season just from those names.

The major standout was Ricky Romero who had stepped into the forefront as one of the better pitchers in the American League. He was an All-Star in 2011 and finished in the Top 10 for the AL Cy Young Award. He finished the season with a 2.92 ERA through 225 innings. He showed insane command and movement throughout the season as he piled up 178 strikeouts. It looked like the Blue Jays really had their ace in Romero, but things changed rather quickly after locking him up on a big contract.

On to Romero’s 2012 season where all of the good things that he was doing went right out the window. His ERA bloated to 5.77 through just 181 innings. His control was the biggest issue as his walk total jumped from 80 in 2011 to 105 in 2012. He also saw his strikeout totals fall from the sky as he could not find a way to confuse hitters. These issues continued into the next season where the Blue Jays parted ways with their one time ace after just seven innings pitched in 2013.

Rickey Romero

Now we take a look at why this is feeling all too familiar as Marcus Stroman takes a loss to the Seattle Mariners and James Paxton who no-hit the Jays on Tuesday evening.

Marcus Stroman

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Stroman was fresh off of a season in which he was named the World Baseball Classic MVP and became a champion with team USA. He continued to ride that wave to his best season in Major League Baseball. During the 2017 season, he threw 201 innings and destroyed hitters all year. He owned a solid 3.09 ERA with 164 strikeouts. The Blue Jays had a chance to win every 5th day knowing that the Stro-Show was going to take centre stage.

Entering last nights start against the Mariners Stroman had an 0-4 record and an inflated 7.52 ERA. This past outing against the Twins was his best start of the season and it was a battle for him. He scattered six hits and a walk to allow just two runs. During the outing it just seemed like he had to grind through it to get to the 7th inning, and it looked like he had turned the corner possibly. Then here come the Mariners who tagged him for five earned runs on nine hits and a pair of walks. He was only able to make it through five innings and he allowed his 4th home run of the young season.

After last nights game against the Mariners, I couldn’t help but get that sinking feeling from the past experience with Romero. I really think that Stroman is a better pitcher then Romero any day of the week, but the comparisons are there and shocked me. Stroman is slumping after a season of being in the Top 8 in the 2017 Cy Young race. Fans have gotten used to that version of Marcus Stroman that has been a prime-time wonder every 5th day. With this slow start, you can see why people are confused or can not un-see these comparisons to a player like Ricky Romero. I hate that my brain jumped to that but it is now unclean with that idea currently, at least until Stroman gets back to form.

Next: Diaz to the DL, Urena up

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