Marcus Stroman rough outing throws spotlight back on Yankees’ Rodon disquiet

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Making his debut on the pitcher’s mound adorned in pinstripes, Marcus Stroman, recognized for his consistent command throughout his career, encountered prolonged at-bats in his 2 1/3-inning appearance during a split-squad loss. His problem reminds fans of the specter of the Yankees betting big on $160-million Carlos Rodon and facing failure in 2023.

The Yankees suffered a 4-0 defeat against the Phillies on a Sunday afternoon at BayCare Ballpark (though they did manage to secure a 12-6 win in their other split-squad game against the Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field, highlighted by Juan Soto’s homerun to left field that cleared the scoreboard).

In January, Marcus Stroman secured a two-year, $37 million deal, choosing the Yankees over the Dodgers, where Yoshinobu Yamamoto opted for a more lucrative contract. Stroman is expected to slot into the Yankees’ rotation, following Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon.

Marcus Stroman fails to dial in perfectly

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Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

In a recent spring training session featuring live pitching, Marcus Stroman shared his primary emphasis for the upcoming season. “I’m currently dedicated to refining my mechanics,” he stated.

This continuous refinement of his skills is an ongoing endeavor for the Patchogue-Medford High School alumnus. In his inaugural spring training appearance on Sunday, the 32-year-old allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. Throwing 52 pitches, the right-hander found the strike zone with 31 of them.

Marcus Stroman mentioned that he felt good in spurts that day, but it didn’t extend over the 52 pitches. He expressed the need to enhance the consistency of feeling good in his mechanics more frequently, estimating that it was likely around 25 to 30 pitches out of the total 52.

During a flawless first inning, Marcus Stroman efficiently retired all three batters on flyouts, utilizing only 16 pitches. Despite this, the pitcher exhibited occasional restlessness, particularly noticeable when receiving throws back from catcher Austin Wells. Stroman frequently engaged in quick, back-and-forth motions with his right arm, appearing to be in search of something. This behavior persisted into the second inning, during which he threw 23 pitches.

Marcus Stroman conveyed that pitching relies heavily on feel, highlighting the challenges associated with it. He emphasized the intricate aspects, such as timing and the ability to replicate his delivery consistently throughout a game. Despite the appearance of uniformity to an observer, he explained that, as pitchers, there are often subtle variations occurring. Achieving precision in these aspects is a demanding task, requiring focused attention.

Despite Marcus Stroman’s reputation for generating weak groundball contact with his sinkerball, he only secured one groundout in his appearance. This singular grounder occurred when Kyle Schwarber hit a chopper to second base.

“Based on his performance, it appears he accomplished his objectives for the outing,” commented third-base coach Luis Rojas, who supervised the game in Clearwater while manager Aaron Boone stayed back in Tampa.

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman at Tampa training facility and with his tattoos.

Rojas, who was instrumental in bringing the pitcher, mentioned that after Marcus Stroman exited the game, he was in the dugout engaging in conversations with various individuals, including resources, pitching coaches, and those he has been working with since his arrival. According to Rojas, the pitcher is searching for that elusive feel. Rojas observed that there are instances when Stroman completes a pitch, and it may not land where he intended, indicating his effort to locate that precise touch. He described Marcus Stroman as a significant proponent of the feel in his pitching and emphasized that he is actively seeking it.

Marcus Stroman is confident that it will happen, perhaps not entirely in the next start or the one following that, but certainly when it truly counts.

Marcus Stroman expressed his perspective, stating, “I see that all coming together.” He emphasized the ultimate goal of aligning everything for the real season, specifically aiming for the first pitch when the games truly count. Marcus Stroman highlighted that the current focus is on reaching a point where they feel mechanically sound in every game, downplaying the significance of game results in that context.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Marcus Stroman rough outing throws spotlight back on Yankees’ Rodon disquiet

  1. Trust that STRO know how to prepare for the upcoming season.He’s an professional and I believe that he is going to be on the top of his game.

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