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

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 … )

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Mervis Crushes Two More, Taillon Makes Another Start, Wesneski Deals, PCA Struggles, Murray, Vazquez, More

I was going to drop all of my thoughts on Iowa's Friday night win over St. Paul in the Cubs bullets this morning, but there was just a little too much to get to. And most of this is pretty...

Umpire Angel Hernandez Cannot Help Himself (UPDATE: Brutal Umpire Scorecard)

With Joe West retired, Angel Hernandez has become the symbol of umpire incompetence. Sure, there are others in the conversation with him — C.B. Bucknor immediately comes to mind (also Laz Diaz, Andy Fletcher, and Chad Fairchild) — but Angel...

Keegan Thompson Came Back and Delivered (Some Small Red Flags, But Mostly Good Stuff)

As of this morning, the Cubs bullpen has thrown 57.0 innings (5th most in MLB) through 13 regular season games. The only bullpens with more innings on the year? The Dodgers (72.1 IP, 16 games), Padres (65.1 IP, 16 games),...

Wicks’ Inefficiency and Talent, Busch is So Good, Cubs Facing Highest Velo in MLB, and Other Cubs Bullets

Well, the Cubs are officially in a little rut, eh? They've lost four of their last six games, and have plated just four runs over their last two. I hate west coast road trips. I feel like it goes this...

As Feared, Spencer Strider Had to Have Elbow Surgery and His Season is Over

It felt like this is where the ominous news was trending, and now it has indeed happened: Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider had to have what amounts to Tommy John-like surgery. The team made the announcement this morning: https://twitter.com/Braves/status/1779140182756769897 For...

Enhanced Box Score: Mariners 4, Cubs 2 – April 12, 2024

Jordan Wicks once again flashed really good stuff, racking up a ton of whiffs, but he didn't quite have the control he needed to stay efficient and keep traffic off the bases. So he twice got himself into trouble with...

Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Mariners – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — Don't shoot the messenger, but this Cubs game doesn't start until 8:40pm CT ... and it's on AppleTV+. I don't make the rules. In any case, it's been a nice long break since the frustrating series in...

REPORT: Cubs Calling Up Keegan Thompson – Recent Performance, What to Expect, More

Last night, we learned that the Chicago Cubs had optioned right-handed reliever Jose Cuas to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs after a pretty horrendous start to the year. Although he's got some arm talent and a funky delivery (which creates a...

More Late-Night Games: Cubs vs Mariners Series Preview

Cubs vs Mariners — The Cubs west coast trip continues tonight in Seattle, where they'll open up the first of three games against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The Cubs are coming off a pretty frustrating series loss in San...

Apparently the Cubs Traded Catcher Joe Hudson to the Mets After Signing Ali Sanchez

In another bit of news dropping on the transactions page, the Chicago Cubs have traded catcher Joe Hudson to the New York Mets. Nothing is listed on the Cubs page or the Mets page as the trade return, so I...

Latest News

Cubs vs. Mariners Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

Led by Michael Busch (two-game homer streak), the Chicago Cubs (7-6) are favorites versus the Seattle Mariners (6-8) Saturday at 9:40 PM ET. Oddsmakers have named the Cubs as -142 favorites for the game, which airs on MARQ.Chicago's Shota Imanaga...

Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks Prediction: Odds, Picks, Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Carolina Hurricanes are at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, and are -355 favorites on the moneyline, with the home team a heavy underdog at +280.Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks Favorite, Moneyline, TotalFavorite: Hurricanes (-355)Underdog: Blackhawks (+280)Total: 6Best Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks Promo...

Flames vs. Coyotes Prediction: Live Odds, Stats, History and Picks – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Calgary Flames are -148 favorites over the Arizona Coyotes (+124) playing on home ice on Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.Flames vs. Coyotes Favorite, Moneyline, TotalFavorite: Flames (-148)Underdog: Coyotes (+124)Total: 6.5Best Flames vs. Coyotes Promo Codes[lasso type="table" id="1"]How to...

Mervis Crushes Two More, Taillon Makes Another Start, Wesneski Deals, PCA Struggles, Murray, Vazquez, More

I was going to drop all of my thoughts on Iowa's Friday night win over St. Paul in the Cubs bullets this morning, but there was just a little too much to get to. And most of this is pretty...

Timberwolves vs. Suns Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Phoenix Suns (48-33) are 4.5-point underdogs as they look to continue a three-game road winning streak when they square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves (56-25) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Target Center. The game airs at 3:30 PM...

Magic vs. Bucks Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Orlando Magic (46-35) are favored (-4.5) to end a three-game losing streak when they host the Milwaukee Bucks (49-32) at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Amway Center. The contest airs on BSF. The over/under in...

Pacers vs. Hawks Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Atlanta Hawks (36-45) are heavy underdogs (-12.5) as they attempt to break a three-game road losing streak when they visit the Indiana Pacers (46-35) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The contest airs at 1:00 PM ET...

Pelicans vs. Lakers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The New Orleans Pelicans (49-32) are 3.5-point favorites as they look to stop a four-game home losing streak when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers (46-35) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Smoothie King Center. The contest airs at...

76ers vs. Nets Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Philadelphia 76ers (46-35) are heavily favored (by 14.5 points) to continue a three-game home win streak when they host the Brooklyn Nets (32-49) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at 1:00 PM ET. The matchup has a point total of...

Knicks vs. Bulls Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Sunday, April 14, 2024

The New York Knicks (49-32) will look to build on a four-game winning streak when they host the Chicago Bulls (39-42) on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at Madison Square Garden as big, 15.5-point favorites. The matchup airs at 1:00 PM...

more cubs news