Marcus Stroman: When Does an “Igniter” Become an “Off-Field Issue?”

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Marcus Stroman is an electric pitcher at the Major League level. With his incredible sinking fastball, there aren’t too many question marks surrounding his quality as a pitcher. He has posted a 3.71 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP in his career and has one of the higher ground ball percentages in baseball as he continues to pound the lower half of the strike zone.

Marcus Stroman: When Does an “Igniter” Become an “Off-Field Issue?”

Boost or Baggage?

What comes with Stroman as a pitcher is emotion, intensity and confidence. These are things some may see as ‘baggage’ while others may find it can ‘boost’ a team in difficult situations. For the most part, Toronto Blue Jays’ fans love the “Stroman hop-skip” off the mound after a solid inning of work. Meanwhile, other players seem to find it cocky and creating a target.

During a game on July 27th against the Oakland A’s where the club was down, Stroman, Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected in an uproar that began by arguing strikes and balls. Stroman had kept his composure until he was thrown out in a very odd series of events.

This shows the “igniter” side of of the theory as Toronto built off the energy of the three ejections to win in walk-off fashion. Steve Pearce hit a full-count grand slam to left in the bottom of the 10th inning.

On August 1st, a scuffle between the Blue Jays and White Sox occurred after Tim Anderson struck out and then had some words for Stroman on his way back to the dugout. Anderson went on to say postgame that he felt disrespected.

Anderson also went on to say quote, “He just complains and cries like he always does.”

It is evident some players take Stroman’s flash of flare differently than others. Anderson was not happy about something the Blue Jay pitcher was doing or saying on the mound. Stroman responded with a confused perspective as to what had upset Anderson by saying the incident made “zero sense.”

So the burning question – Is Marcus Stroman still the energizer the Blue Jays need? Or has the showmanship gone too far causing a distraction to the team or even holding them back?

‘Stro’ is a Go

For a team like the Blue Jays, in their current state, Stroman is what they need. He has been hands down their best and most consistent starter every five days. As the team claws away to get back to .500, Stroman is one of the more sure pitchers to give the Blue Jays a quality start. At 26 years of age, the energy he brings to the mound is contagious to his teammates.

A player who loves what he does and shows it, arguably, more than anyone in the majors can rub opponents the wrong way and their is point when it becomes antics. However, this is what the Blue Jays need – a guy to remind them why they are where they are.

Marcus Stroman is a weapon the mound and has an incredible ability to share the joy of the game he possess with those playing the game around him.

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