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In praise of Marcus Stroman

He hasn’t yet thrown a pitch for the Cubs, but he should become a popular fan favorite when he does.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I’ve spent a lot of time here recently talking about MLB’s lockout and various things connected to it.

Truth be told, I’m kind of talked out on that. Nothing is happening and nothing appears to be on the horizon of happening regarding the lockout, so today I’m going to bring to you what I hope is a happier discussion topic: Marcus Stroman.

The Cubs surprised the baseball world by signing Stroman just before the lockout hit, to a three-year, $71 million contract that includes an opt-out after the second season (essentially, a third-year player option). He instantly became the ace of a starting rotation which... well, had its problems in 2021, to say the least.

Stroman turns 31 in May and had one of his best MLB seasons in 2021, posting a 3.02 ERA and 1.145 WHIP for the Mets, a year worth 3.4 bWAR. He led the major leagues in games started (33). He’s been healthy since he missed some time in 2018 with a calf injury and also a blister issue.

What I’ve enjoyed most about Stroman since his signing is his Twitter account, where he talks about baseball and life and regularly engages with fans. Just yesterday he posted this video of him working out at Eddy D. Field Stadium at Pepperdine University:

There are other similar posts on his timeline, but he’s also posted motivational thoughts like these:

Seems like he’s a thoughtful guy. And a devoted dad:

And here are some numbers hinting the Cubs got a steal when they signed Stroman:

Given all that I think Stroman will instantly become a fan favorite when he takes the mound at Wrigley Field. Among other things, he’s going to keep his number 0, becoming the first Cub to wear that number.

Welcome to the Cubs, Marcus Stroman. You’re going to like it here.