Mets: Marcus Stroman is looking like a great #2 pitcher

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets in action. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets in action. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets have mightily improved this offseason and look to be a dominant force in the National League. There is no question that the offense is one of the best in the league, but some fans question the starting rotation. After watching Marcus Stroman pitch yesterday in Spring Training, I think Mets fans are a little less worried.

The Mets rotation

New York has one of the best, if not the best, starting pitcher in the MLB. But, Jacob deGrom can’t win a World Series by himself, even if he wants to. Behind deGrom, the Mets have Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi.

They don’t have a bad rotation by any means. I think they are better than most teams in the league, but is it enough to beat the Dodgers, Padres, White Sox, etc?

Without Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets are a much different team and need to rely on guys like the Stro-show, Cookie, Taijuan, and whoever is named the fifth starter.

Time to extend Lindor is now. light. More Mets

Marcus Stroman’s Spring Training Outing

With that being said, Marcus Stroman has some heavy lifting to do. The 29-year-old opted out of the 2020 season and I feel like many fans forgot about how good he has been in the past. Almost to the point where fans deem Stroman a mediocre pitcher.

In his last full season, he was named an All-Star after posting a 2.96 ERA in 21 outings for the Blue Jays. After that, the Mets acquired him and he started 11 games with a 3.77 ERA.

The one-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner has also suffered a handful of injuries including an ACL tear in 2015. But, Stroman is a full-go this season and looked great in his first Spring Training outing,

The Mets squared off against the Houston Astros for the second game of Spring. The Stro-show started on the bump and pitched two innings.

Although it wasn’t the entire Astros “A” team, Stroman still had to face guys like Aledmys Diaz and Michael Brantley. The right-hander only needed 30 pitches to get the first six batters of the Astros lineup out.

Of those 30 pitches, 22 of them were for strikes.

He began the game with a fly out to right, a ground ball to himself, and then a ground out to his new shortstop, Francisco Lindor, to end the top of the first inning. Marcus just needed 10 pitches to finish three batters.

And then in the second inning, he started with Jason Castro and struck him out with five pitches. The Duke product showed a little swagger after striking Castro out with what looks like a front door two-seam fastball.

He then got Taylor Jones to ground out to first, and ended his day with a strikeout looking on a 3-2 pitch.

Marcus Stroman’s new changeup

In this impressive outing, he was also able to debut his new changeup. In an interview with Rob Friedman, Stroman explained his new split-changeup grip. Friedman said “you always had a hard time pronating right? So this is actually, you’re doing it with your fingers instead of actually pronating.”

Stroman responded “I let the grip do it. I don’t want to think I need to get out in front and turn it over.” It also sounds like Stroman learned it from his teammate Robert Gsellman and implemented how he grips the ball.

Here’s what the split changeup looked like against Michael Brantley on a 0-1 pitch.

What this all means for the New York Mets

It’s a great sign that Marcus is back to dealing, having fun, and throwing a new changeup. It even makes me a little excited for the Stro-show as a Mariners fan.

The changeup is particularly important for Mets fans because his changeup has historically been hittable. In 2019, he threw his changeup just 5.3% of the time, and opposing batters hit .267 against it. Just the fact that he only threw it 5% of the time should say something about the lack of confidence he had in the pitch.

In 2018, he threw it even less. Marcus only threw it 4.6% of the time and batters hit .429 off of it.

This new and improved changeup is just another tool in the big toolbox that Stroman lugs around with him. He seems very excited about it and it was clearly effective yesterday against Brantley.

The New York Mets had another disappointing season last year and missed having Stroman in the rotation. Now that he is back, healthy and confident, he can fulfill the one-two punch the Mets need.

dark. Next. Chavez with another catch for the ages

When looking at the rest of the Mets starting pitching options, none are particularly wowing, which is why Marcus Stroman is so vital. Although it’s a small sample size, what Marcus did yesterday should make Mets fans extremely excited for the deGrom and Stroman show.

Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it… Marcus Stroman will be an All-Star this year.