Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman- The leader this team DOES need
Trading Marcus Stroman would be one of the largest mistakes the Toronto Blue Jays front office could make this offseason.
Yes, I know he had a down season, has been injury prone and of course, we cannot forget the “attitude”, but it’s that attitude why I believe that the Jays would be wise to keep him. Instead of me focusing on his God-given skills, I want to take a look at the potential he has to be a leader on a young Jays team.
Any team that is going to go through the rebuild that the Jays are about to go through needs leadership on the field and the player’s locker room. Now yes, he can be a little opinionated, and we cannot forget social media friendly but I think we also need to look inside the lines at some of the things that he says and does.
Let’s first take a look back at spring training in 2015, Stroman was pitching a pre-season game, no doubt thoughts about the upcoming campaign racing through his head, also, being the man to pitch the season opener against the Yankees, and this just after his rookie season. Unfortunately, fate had a different plan, during the game, his footing got mixed up and he went down like a heap.
Unable to get up, the trainers raced to his aid. Hoping it was just a mild strain, reality kicked in when the team doctors informed him his ACL was gone. Season-ending surgery right there, no Yankee’s, no pitching in front of his family, all gone.
After reading and seeing how he responded to this, I was starting to see more than just a potential ace, I was watching a mature, motivated and dedicated young man that was going to do “whatever it takes to pitch again that season”.
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Now I will be the first to admit I was skeptic about this, let’s face it, if a doctor says season ending, it’s season-ending. But fast forward through the season, going to school, doing physio, training and not taking his eye off his goal he came back and came back with a fire in his eye. Marcus pitched in the playoffs and showed his heart.
This is the attitude that needs to be implemented starting day one with this young team. Lesson to be learned: Work hard, dedicate yourself and no targets can be out of reach.
Another example of his leadership qualities are in some of his tweets, let’s take for example one of his latest one’s regarding all of the recent trade rumors, what caught my eye was this one line:
“Part of the Game. I love being a Toronto Blue Jay and all of my energy is devoted to showing out for Canada every 5th day!”
Really, what is not to love about that, he acknowledges trade rumors happen all of the time, he knows what his job is and he has also not blind to the fact he is not only pitching for a city but a country. Now I know quotes like this are just words, but when you look back at how much he has accomplished and he himself says he has not reached his prime or pinnacle.
Stroman, I believe can also become that type of player that will pull someone to the side if he feels there is not a 100% effort being put in, this is where the mentoring from guys like Russell Martin, Kevin Pillar, and our new skip can come in. He definitely needs to polish up on some of his leadership game, but you can see through his actions and words there is one dying to come out and help lead this new Jays team forward.
Stroman is an action’s speak louder than words right now but as time progresses, his words will become stronger and more meaningful. In many ways,
Now, doesn’t that sound like someone you would want to build your team around?