It's GO TIME!
IT'S STRO TIME!
It's no secret that I've been very loudly coveting Marcus Stroman for years. Begging, even. I've tweeted at Jed and, before him, at Theo, annoyed my DNA colleagues around HQ with rants about how the FO needed to go get Stro, gotten irrationally mad at how the NY media treated Stro during his time with the Mets... you get the idea.
Marcus Stroman has been one of my favorite MLB players for years, back to his early years in Toronto. Before he re-upped with the Mets, I was all over Twitter hoping he'd come to Chicago and pointing out that he was a better career pitcher than he-who-shall-not-be-named. To wit:
Oh, and back to that thing about Stroman's career stats... let's take a look and see what our friends at FanGraphs have to show us:
Marcus Stroman is a ground-ball inducing machine, as you can see from the GB% he consistently gets each year. He also keeps the ball in the yard, all of which means that the guys behind him need to be able to field their positions. I know it's popular to fixate on ERA, but even in the outlier years when Stro's ERA rose above 4, his FIP, AKA Fielding Independent Pitching, remained below that mark. What I'm saying is that those years when his ERA inflated were because the defense behind him likely sucked, even though he was still out there doing his thing.
As long as the Cubs shore up the infield (maybe by adding a superstar SS or bringing back a GG 1B?), you can expect Stro's ERA to stay somewhere in the low 3's. I'm especially excited about his abilities under Tommy Hottovy, who thrives working with pitchers who have lively sinkers/sliders like Stro. You can also expect him to pitch 180 innings or more, which in today's game is a ton. Remember--the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner only pitched 167 innings because Milwaukee no longer believes in starting pitching.
Then we have the INTANGIBLES!!!11!!1 If you had a machine to create players that were perfect for each team and their fans, that machine would create Marcus Stroman for the Cubs. You want attitude? Here, have some K struts:
You want a player who is an ally? Yep, Stro has you covered there, too.
If you like your players outspoken on issues of social justice, Stroman is definitely your guy. Also, this is the reason Cardinals fans will most haaaaaaaaaate having him in the division, which makes it that much more awesome.
Yes, like so many Cubs fans, Stro is extremely online, and he's already out there making friends with his new teammates and figuring out how he and PWizzy can do dance warm-ups before games, which sounds like about the hottest thing in MLB to be honest.
There's also Stro's deployment of the #poopootake, his excellent term for when media and meatball fan types say dumb things and he so deftly calls them out on it. It all started with a single tweet that turned into a widely deployed hashtag:
Let me tell you, I cannot WAIT until Jesse Rogers or David Kaplan is the first recipient of a poopoo take from Stro!
And this is just scratching the surface on why I'm beyond excited to have Marcus Stroman on the Cubs. I know Cubs fans will love him, but let me tell you... this is a dream come true for me as a fan after years of wishing the team could make it happen. It's like Christmas came a month early!
Now I'm just gonna sit over here in the corner and try manifesting that Joey Votto trade. What?!? It could happen!