Mets: How will Marcus Stroman fare in his first full season in New York?
By Leen Amin
The New York Mets will get a full year out of Marcus Stroman in 2020. What should we expect from him?
On July 28, the Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets in exchange for promising pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Until that date, Stroman was boasting a 2.96 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 124.2 IP.
During his time with the Blue Jays in 2019, Stroman was at the top of most AL pitching rankings and was named to the 2019 All-Star Game. The fact that the Mets traded for him at that point in the season, especially since they were struggling and didn’t appear to be contenders, was a bit of a surprise, but he is under contract through the 2020 season.
Overall, Stroman’s time with the Mets this season was pretty underwhelming. In 59.2 IP he had a 3.77 ERA and 1.475 WHIP, and didn’t seem to settle in until his last few starts.
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Even though Stroman wasn’t great in his short time with the Mets in 2019, I think he’s going to have a good year in 2020. I don’t think his numbers will be as good as they were in the first half or so of this season, but I believe he will play a key part in solidifying the Mets’ rotation as one of the very best in baseball.
After all, Stroman did improve significantly at the end of this season.
He allowed a total of four runs in his last three starts and struck out an impressive 17 batters while walking just five. I truly think he will pick up where he left off and will start the season on the right note. Do not be alarmed if he overtakes Noah Syndergaard for the number two starter in the Mets’ rotation.
My only concern about his 2020 season is the concern I held when the Mets traded for him. Stroman is a ground-ball machine: he generates ground-balls more than practically any other starting pitcher in baseball.
The Mets notoriously have one of the worst defensive infields in the league and, to make matters worse, one of the only good defensive infielders they had this year, third baseman Todd Frazier, is almost certainly gone. The Mets need to acquire a third baseman during the offseason who is efficient both offensively and defensively, (à la Anthony Rendon).
If they do not and if the infield defense doesn’t improve, the fact that Stroman is a ground-ball pitcher may prove to be a problem.
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It isn’t always great to get your hopes up, but we should expect Stroman to settle into this rotation nicely and have a good year in his first full season at home in New York.