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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Marcus Stroman

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MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

One of those lesser known names on our 40-man, but we’ll try to find a few words to say about Marcus Stroman.

Marcus was our first-round pick, in the 2011 draft. He was called up to the Jays in May of 2014, pitching out of the bullpen for May, then taking Liam Hendrik’s spot in the rotation (who had taken Dustin McGowan’s place). He ended up making 20 starts, that season, going 10-6 with a 3.29 ERA.

We thought we had found someone who would be very valuable member of the 2015 2015 rotation, but the injury gods had other ideas. When he tore his ACL, early in spring, we thought he was gone for the year. But he worked very hard, and made it back for 4 starts (and 4 wins) at the end of the season. Then he made 3 more starts in the playoffs.

Marcus was our opening day starter last year. Through his first 8 starts, all was good, 4-0 with a 3.54 ERA. It kind of went bad from there on out.

Only June was particularly bad (7.76 ERA in 5 starts that month), but he suffered from a lack of run support, and went 4-9 from June 1st on. Without June, Marcus would have had a 3.86 ERA, but then, ignoring the bad games is a lousy way to evaluate a player.

This spring? Stroman had a great WBC. 3 starts, 2.35 ERA, 15.1 innings, 12 hits, 4 earned, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. All 4 of those runs, and 6 of the hits, came in one pretty unlucky inning in his first start against Puerto Rico He threw 6 no-hit innings in the final, against a PR in the Championship game. And he was named the MVP of the WBC.

In his 3 spring games, with the Jays, he gave up 9 hits, 1 earned, 0 walks with 8 strikeouts in 8.2 innings.

Marcus has been playing with hesitations in his windup, to throw off the batter’s timing and it seems to be working. He’s always making changes and tinkering

PECOTA predicts a 4.22 ERA in 174 innings in 29 starts for Marcus. ZiPS has a 3.97 ERA in 140 innings, in 23 starts. I’ll take the over on innings and the under on ERA on both.

I was asked, for someone’s MLB preview, which of the Jays’ starters I thought would have the best season. I’ll admit, I change my mind daily. Somethings I think, obviously, it will be Sanchez. Then I see Liriano pitch (like today) and think Liriano is going to surprise everyone and be the best starter. Or I read that Estrada back is healthy and think he’s just so good, it must be him. Or at times I think Happ will show that the last year and a half wasn’t a fluke and he’ll be the best of the five.

But most of the time, I think it’s Marcus. I just think the WBC showed him that he’s as good as anyone. I think he’s smart enough to continue to adjust to what batters are trying to do.

Poll

Which starter will finish the season with the highest bWAR?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Marco Estrada
    (38 votes)
  • 7%
    J.A. Happ
    (24 votes)
  • 12%
    Francisco Liriano
    (39 votes)
  • 38%
    Aaron Sanchez
    (120 votes)
  • 29%
    Marcus Stroman
    (91 votes)
312 votes total Vote Now