‘Crazy’ Marcus Stroman’s solitary lifestyle a total grind in quest of Yankees excellence

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman

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New York Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman‘s pursuit of peak performance extends far beyond the traditional baseball lifestyle routine. Even after completing a grueling spring training schedule at Steinbrenner Field, his day is far from over. Workouts, bullpen sessions, and drills are followed by a unique regimen at his waterfront residence in Tampa.

There, Marcus Stroman reunites with his personal trainer, Nikki Huffman, whom he brought over from the Toronto Blue Jays a few years ago. Interestingly, Huffman’s daily schedule rivals the intensity of a pitcher’s on-field training.

Marcus Stroman’s post-practice routine is a fascinating blend of cutting-edge recovery techniques and mental conditioning. Sessions in his hyperbaric chamber, acupuncture treatments, and meditation on a floating bed are just part of the equation. He also incorporates consultations with his mental coach and an additional workout session in his personal gym.

“Different stuff every day,” he explains. “My home is my recovery center.”

Marcus Stroman’s dedication to this unconventional training regimen highlights the lengths some athletes go to in pursuit of optimal performance. While his methods may not be mainstream, his commitment to maximizing his potential is undeniable.

Marcus Stroman lives a solitary life

Jesse Rieser

“I take care of my shit 24/7 for 365,” the 32-year-old pitcher claims. “I’m different, man. I don’t have fun. I’m not married. I’m single. I don’t go home and golf. I don’t go home and play video games. I go home and do more work. Every day. That’s my life.”

New York Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman is not one to follow a conventional path when it comes to training. His pursuit of peak performance extends far beyond the standard ballpark workout routines. After a long day of on-field activities, the pitcher returns to his personalized recovery haven, embarking on a comprehensive regimen focused on optimizing both his mind and body.

Marcus Stroman’s commitment goes deeper than the typical saunas and steam rooms. His program incorporates cutting-edge therapies like contrast baths and red-light treatments to optimize his physical state. Regular consultations with a therapist are another facet of his holistic approach, emphasizing the importance he places on mental well-being alongside physical conditioning.

Financial success on the baseball diamond has allowed Marcus Stroman to spare no expense in his pursuit of peak performance and longevity. He credits his meticulous approach for his nine years of success in the league and believes it will continue to be a differentiating factor in his career.

However, this dedication comes at a cost. Marcus Stroman acknowledges that his relentless schedule leaves limited space for personal pursuits outside of spending quality time with his son, Kai Zen. He emphasizes his year-round commitment to these routines, highlighting the unique lifestyle choices he has made. As he approaches his 33rd birthday in May, Marcus Stroman remains unwavering in his focus, opting for a more solitary lifestyle centered on maximizing his performance potential.

Marcus Stroman is not afraid to invest heavily in cutting-edge equipment and services. Hyperbaric chambers alone can cost upwards of $50,000, but Stroman views these financial commitments as investments in his well-being and performance, returns he believes are well worth the cost.

“Do know how much money I put into this?” he said. “I’ve spent A LOT of money and it’s paid off.”

In essence, Marcus Stroman’s dedication goes beyond the headlines generated by his hyperbaric chamber. He has constructed a comprehensive system encompassing physical therapies, mental health focus, and cutting-edge technology, all with the singular goal of maximizing his performance and extending his career at the highest level. This unique approach may not be for everyone, but it highlights Marcus Stroman’s unwavering commitment to his craft.

Marcus Stroman’s dedication rooted in passion and upbringing

Marcus Stroman joined the New York Yankees on January 11, 2024.

New York Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman is more than just another talented arm on the mound. His impressive accolades speak volumes about his consistent excellence at the highest level, with two All-Star selections (2019 with the Toronto Blue Jays, 2022 with the Chicago Cubs) adorning his resume. This past offseason, Marcus Stroman made a significant move, returning to his hometown roots by signing a lucrative two-year, $37 million deal with the Yankees.

The cornerstone of Marcus Stroman’s success? An unwavering commitment to year-round training. This dedication has consistently impressed teams throughout his career, and it’s no different with the Yankees this spring. Pitching coach Matt Blake couldn’t hide his enthusiasm about the pitcher joining the team, specifically praising his relentless work ethic and dedication to the craft. Blake went on to highlight Marcus Stroman’s comprehensive approach to physical preparation, including his use of various methods like massage therapy to ensure peak performance.

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman

But where did this dedication all begin? For Marcus Stroman, the seeds were sown in his upbringing in Medford, Long Island. His father, Earl Stroman, a Suffolk County police detective, instilled valuable life lessons in Marcus. Earl emphasized that height shouldn’t limit aspirations, encouraging his son to pursue excellence in all areas of life.

Recalling his childhood, Marcus Stroman remembers his father’s words clearly. These instilled in him a relentless pursuit of greatness, regardless of obstacles. Standing at 5-foot-7, he defied expectations not just in baseball. He excelled at basketball during his time at Patchogue-Medford High School, earning recognition as a star point guard known for his scoring prowess.

A wide grin spreads across Marcus Stroman’s face as he reminisces about his basketball days. He speaks with pride about his athleticism and success as a point guard. Despite his stature, he proved himself a force to be reckoned with on the court, leaving a lasting impression with his skills.

Marcus Stroman’s dedication to baseball extends beyond just the sport itself. It’s rooted in a strong work ethic instilled by his father and a relentless pursuit of excellence that began on the basketball court. This well-rounded approach, combined with his impressive talent and commitment to training, makes Marcus Stroman a valuable asset for the New York Yankees.

A multi-talented athlete forged by resilience

Marcus Stroman, player of the New York Yankees
J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM

Although baseball was Marcus Stroman’s true passion, his high school years revealed a well-rounded athlete. He excelled in multiple facets of the game, showcasing both defensive brilliance as a shortstop and a balanced offensive approach with a knack for both batting average and power hitting.

However, Marcus Stroman’s talents extended beyond the batter’s box. He quickly gained recognition as one of the top pitchers in the region, compiling an impressive 7-2 record with a remarkable 1.20 ERA during his junior year. This stellar performance was followed by an even more dominant senior season, where he posted an outstanding 9-1 record and a minuscule 0.25 ERA, leaving a lasting impression on scouts.

Despite being drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Marcus Stroman chose to pursue academics alongside athletics. His strong work ethic extended beyond the baseball diamond, as he secured a baseball scholarship to Duke University, a prestigious institution known for its academic rigor and powerhouse basketball program.

After three successful years at Duke, honing his skills and academics, Marcus Stroman’s talents once again attracted the attention of Major League Baseball. He was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Marcus Stroman’s rapid ascent through the minor leagues culminated in a spectacular Major League debut in 2014. He quickly established himself as one of the standout rookies in the American League, posting an impressive 11-6 record with a solid 3.65 ERA in 26 appearances, showcasing his immense potential.

However, Marcus Stroman’s journey wasn’t without obstacles. A significant turning point came in 2015 when he suffered a right ACL tear during spring training. Initial concerns about missing the entire season loomed large. But Stroman defied expectations, exhibiting remarkable resilience and determination. He underwent surgery followed by a rigorous rehabilitation program, including a month at the Blue Jays’ training facility and additional recovery at Duke. This dedication and perseverance paid off as Marcus Stroman made a remarkable comeback later that season, exceeding all recovery projections.

Finds his training advantage at Duke


During his time at Duke University, Marcus Stroman’s path intersected with Dana Huffman, a specialist who provided consultations to professional athletes at the prestigious Krzyzewski Human Performance Lab. In an interview with The Athletic in 2017, Huffman praised Duke’s renowned medical expertise and their emphasis on teamwork across different disciplines. She stressed the importance of personalized training plans, acknowledging that customization is the key to effectiveness.

Leveraging her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of St. Augustine and her residency at Duke, Huffman transitioned from the Krzyzewski Lab in 2016 to become an athletic trainer for Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays.

From 2016 until his trade to the New York Mets in 2019, Marcus Stroman thrived under Huffman’s training and recovery methods. Following the 2019 season, Huffman left the Blue Jays to become Stroman’s full-time personal trainer.

Marcus Stroman enthusiastically endorsed the news on Twitter, expressing his eagerness to reunite with Huffman. He praised her unwavering support and hailed her as the world’s best physical therapist, trainer, and strength coach, confident that her expertise would benefit many athletes in the future.

Their collaboration, which began in 2016 with Marcus Stroman’s first full season under Huffman’s guidance, coincided with his rise as a top MLB starting pitcher in terms of durability. Although he opted out of the shortened 2020 season, Stroman’s impressive total of 199 starts over eight years ranks among the top 10 in the major leagues during that timeframe.

Focus on health, durability

Pitcher Marcus Stroman is reportedly interested to join the Yankees in 2024.
Eve Edelheit-Wall Street Journal

With the new season approaching, Marcus Stroman sets his sights on staying healthy throughout the year. “Thirty-three starts” is his target, showcasing his commitment to durability, which heavily relies on his signature sinker pitch.

Marcus Stroman feels confident about the upcoming season. He’s completed a live batting practice session with just one more spring training start remaining. While Grapefruit League results hold little weight for him, he’s pleased with his performance so far.

As a seasoned veteran with ten years in the league, Marcus Stroman views spring training primarily as a preparation period. His focus is on getting his body in peak condition for the demanding season ahead. He emphasizes the importance of a strong foundation, prioritizing overall health as the bedrock of success.

Many players enter the season less than fully prepared physically, according to Marcus Stroman. He highlights the importance of peak fitness throughout the year, acknowledging its impact on performance.

Maintaining good health is paramount for Stroman. He adheres to a strict regimen that incorporates modern training methods. Meticulous about his diet, he allows himself occasional controlled indulgence in alcohol. “I’m very specific about my drinking,” he explains, “completely avoiding it for 48 hours before every start.”

Stroman Prioritizes Routine, Opts for Yankees’ Home Opener


Despite being offered the opportunity to start on Opening Day by Yankees manager Aaron Boone last week, Marcus Stroman respectfully declined, prioritizing his established pitching schedule. With Gerrit Cole sidelined for the season opener against Houston on March 28th, Stroman will adhere to his plan and take the mound for the third game of the series.

This decision paves the way for Nestor Cortes to be the starting pitcher for the season opener. However, Stroman views his potential role in the April 5th home opener against his former team, the Toronto Blue Jays, as an even more exciting prospect.

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman commended Stroman’s open communication with the team and his genuine approach to the situation. He expressed appreciation for Stroman’s honesty and directness, qualities that were evident even before his arrival in New York.

While Stroman is known for being outspoken, particularly on social media, he has impressed his new team with his overall conduct. Pitching coach Blake highlighted Stroman’s seamless integration, valuable insights shared with teammates, and dedication to his craft. He praised Stroman’s collaborative spirit and professionalism, noting his positive influence during spring training.

Marcus Stroman attributes his positive reception to simply being himself, feeling no need to change his personality. He believes the Yankees valued his authenticity during their acquisition process and wouldn’t have pursued him if they wanted him to be someone else.

Filled with confidence, he asserts his belief in his ability to replicate or even surpass his best performances. Mentally and physically prepared, Marcus Stroman is ready to tackle the challenge presented by his new team. His laser focus on maintaining peak performance in both aspects of the game highlights his unwavering dedication to becoming a star for the Yankees.

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