Marcus Stroman Was Incredible in May Despite a Long Absence and Other Cubs Bullets

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Marcus Stroman Was Incredible in May Despite a Long Absence and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are going to have a busy, busy day today, with two games and a load of roster moves coming (Nelson Velazquez and Matt Swarmer coming up, at a minimum). Stay tuned.

•   Through seven scoreless innings yesterday, Marcus Stroman netted just two strikeouts, which made the outing really unusual compared to his others this season (when the strikeout rate had really ticked up). The groundball rate was still down, which is odd for him, and there was certainly some great defense behind him that helped the performance. But he did get 12 whiffs on 90 pitches (solid), and posted a 31% CSW (good). So he was consistently putting himself in a good position to succeed.

•   After the outing, Stroman’s ERA and FIP both flipped over into positive territory (well, like, the good kinda – better than league average), and the trend lines look great. Think about how long Stroman’s month was interrupted by COVID (he was actually sick, too), and he still did this:

•   Notably, Stroman says he still doesn’t feel quite right – physically/mechanically – compared to where he’d be in a normal season, so there could still be more ramping up ahead. Here’s hoping he just gets better and better. When given enough time in his career, he’s generally been very successful, so I wouldn’t bet against him being just fine the rest of the way (and I’m glad the Cubs have him for 2023 … ).

•   Oh, also, the glove. He’s just a shortstop out there playing pitcher:

•   Oh my, old friend:

•   You can see the pitcher try to quickly go to his glove to apply stuff to his hand before grabbing the ball, which means the other team can see it, which means a college pitcher got busted:

•   A reminder, I think, that guys are still trying to get away with sticky stuff throughout baseball, and they’re definitely not all getting caught. Makes for an additional layer of scouting before the draft!

•   Speaking of the draft, I can’t wait to see where Ben Joyce goes:

•   That has a decent bit of movement, too! (Of course, I had to watch like 10 times just to see it … )

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.