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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Grade Marcus Stroman’s first half

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Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Last year, Marcus Stroman had 3.09 ERA, finished 8th in Cy Young voting. He really put it all together. Coming into this season, I thought of Marcus as a sure thing. He was going to be good.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

He was awful through his first 7 starts, 7.71 ERA. He only had 1 start where he made it beyond 5.1 innings. Batters hit.299/.368/.455 against him.

And after his May 8th start he went on the DL with crappy arm disease.

Since coming back from the DL he’s been better. 3.45 ERA in 5 starts. He still isn’t pitching deep into games, 28.2 innings in 5 starts, so averaging less than 6 innings a start. Batters hit .252/.304/.364 in those starts.

He had the little blow up the other day. Personally, I think everyone should be allowed the odd blow up. Sometimes life just gets to you. Maybe it would be best not to have the blow up in front of several reporters, but that’s life.

What I really got out of all the reaction to his rant was: Reporters don’t like him. Richard Griffin made it clear that he hates the guy. Steve Simmons went beyond that, calling Marcus a jerk (and reporting that some unknown person also called him a jerk, to make it sound like that’s the general impression everyone gets). For me that’s beyond unprofessional. They imply that Marcus is a lousy teammate. Of course, they used to imply the same thing about Jose Bautista.

I get it, Richard, Steve, likely many other Blue Jays reporters would prefer a team filled with Ryan Goinses, but that isn’t how the world works. People have personalities. Some we mesh with, some we don’t. It is easy to guess that a young, rather brash, guy that wears his emotions on his sleeve would not be the favorite of old time reporters. I do kind of imagine that, if I was forced to be in a room with Marcus all the time, I’d likely not like him. But, letting that change how you report on his is what (to me) is wrong.

John Lott wrote this:

The point is, I don’t believe Stroman is either hero or villain when it comes to dealing with the media.

And in my view, too many folks – both in my business and in the Blue Jays’ fan base – prefer to cast him in those terms.

I like that.

As a fan, I don’t care if a writer likes him or hates him. Baseball writers loved Derek Jeter/hated Alex Rodriguez. Now that Alex is in front of the camera more, he seems more and more like a likable guy. Jeter...less so.

Writers are going to have favorites. We all have people we like more and less. But when personality issues cloud how you write about a player, I think you are doing it wrong.

Anyway, none that has anything to do with the task at hand.


For the first half I would grade Aaron Sanchez an

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