Marcus Stroman’s Yankees landing result of covert third-base influence

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New York Yankees third-base coach Luis Rojas provided valuable input during the team’s pursuit of starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, who signed with the Yankees in January.

Rojas, who previously worked with Marcus Stroman for a season and a half as the quality control coach (2019) and manager (2021) of the New York Mets, offered positive feedback to general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone regarding Stroman’s potential contribution to the Yankees.

“I love Stro,” Rojas enthusiastically stated on Sunday, highlighting his familiarity and positive experience working with the pitcher. Rojas specifically commended Marcus Stroman’s energy, talent, and extensive experience, suggesting these qualities would be beneficial to the Yankees’ roster.

Rojas remarked that Marcus Stroman is exceptionally intelligent and consistently puts in tremendous effort to maintain his fitness. He emphasized that the pitcher’s main objective is to make over 30 starts in a season and remain available for the team throughout the year. While he couldn’t recall specific statistical goals mentioned by Marcus Stroman, Rojas highlighted Stroman’s pride in maintaining excellent physical condition and having precise control over his body.

Rojas undeterred by Marcus Stroman’s mixed debut

Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman displayed a mix of promising signs and areas for refinement during his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday. He exhibited impressive command in his first inning, inducing three flyouts, which is atypical for a pitcher known for generating ground balls. However, his control wavered slightly in the second inning, prompting closer attention to his mechanics.

But Rojas felt that Marcus Stroman displayed a meticulous approach to his mechanics during his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The pitcher, who previously worked with Yankees third-base coach Luis Rojas during their time with the Mets, has benefited from Rojas’ firsthand knowledge of his pitching style and mechanics. Rojas highlighted Marcus Stroman’s “deep awareness of his body and pitching mechanics,” a trait evident throughout his outing.

Marcus Stroman gradually increased his pitch count to 52 across 2 1/3 innings, meticulously focusing on maintaining consistent mechanics against the Phillies at BayCare Ballpark. He noted feeling most comfortable with his mechanics after reaching the 25-30 pitch mark. Whenever he perceived even slight deviations, he promptly implemented specific adjustments to recalibrate, often observed while waiting for throws from catcher Austin Wells.

Leveraging the flexibility offered by spring training re-entry rules, Luis Rojas, serving as the manager for this specific split-squad game, strategically removed Marcus Stroman after his pitch count reached a predetermined limit. This allowed Marcus Stroman to return for the third inning and complete his planned workload while adhering to established protocols.

Rojas remarked that Marcus Stroman seemed to have achieved what he required. After being withdrawn from the game, Stroman remained in the dugout conversing with various individuals, including pitching coaches and others he had been collaborating with since joining the team. He was seeking that sense of touch, Rojas explained, indicating that sometimes after executing a pitch, Marcus Stroman might not have felt it was precisely as he intended. This search for the right feel extended to aspects such as his hip positioning and release point.

Stroman justifies his debut

The pitcher conveyed that he was in a good place after surrendering two runs on four singles and a walk, while also striking out two. Marcus Stroman mentioned that he didn’t believe he was at the point he needed to be yet, acknowledging that they still had another four to five weeks before the season began. However, he noted that he felt ahead of schedule in terms of throwing strikes and commanding the zone with some of his pitches. He admitted that he wasn’t completely synchronized and where he needed to be mechanically for the season. Marcus Stroman expressed optimism that over the next few outings, he would be able to bring everything together.

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MLB

Marcus Stroman’s initial outing provided valuable insights into his current form and areas for continued development. While he demonstrated flashes of sharpness, maintaining consistent command throughout his outing remains a key focus as he progresses through spring training. The Yankees will undoubtedly monitor his progress closely as he refines his mechanics and prepares for the upcoming season.

Crucially, Marcus Stroman completed the outing without any reported health concerns. This is a significant development considering he battled hip and rib injuries towards the end of the previous season. A clean bill of health throughout spring training paves the way for a strong start to the regular season.

With his Long Island roots, Marcus Stroman can anticipate roughly five more spring training starts. This extended timeframe allows him to gradually increase his workload, exceeding his initial expectations for his progression at this stage. Additionally, these outings provide valuable opportunities to further refine his mechanics and hone his pitching approach for the upcoming season.

Marcus Stroman, using a cap of the New York Yankees
CBS

The Yankees will undoubtedly monitor Marcus Stroman closely as he continues his spring training regimen, focusing on building his workload, maintaining his health, and solidifying his mechanics in preparation for the regular season.

Marcus Stroman emphasized the importance of feel in pitching, stating that it’s about timing and being able to replicate his delivery consistently throughout a game. He acknowledged the difficulty of achieving this level of consistency, noting that while it may appear consistent to observers, pitchers often experience subtle variations in their mechanics. His goal is to refine his delivery to ensure consistency and effectiveness on the mound.

Rojas understands firsthand the significance of that for Marcus Stroman.

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