New York Mets need Marcus Stroman to be a star in 2020
By Leen Amin
In 2020, Marcus Stroman needs to be the star New York Mets fans were hoping for when the team acquired him in 2019.
Unexpectedly and out of the blue, the New York Mets traded two prospects to the Toronto Blue Jays in July in exchange for starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. The 28-year-old has had a good career: 3.76 ERA, 695 strikeouts, and 1.292 WHIP over six seasons. He has also won a Gold Glove Award and was named to the 2019 All-Star Game.
Stroman was one of the best pitchers in the American League for over half the season: with the Blue Jays in 2019, he had a 2.96 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 99 strikeouts, and 0.7 HR/9 in 124.2 IP. He was at the top of almost every single AL pitching leaderboard. These numbers made it easier for the Mets to take a risk and give up two promising prospects for him.
Stroman’s performance with the Mets was pretty good but nowhere near as dominant as it was in the first half or so of the season. He posted a 3.77 ERA, 1.475 WHIP, and 1.2 HR/9 in 59.2 IP. It took him a few starts to get used to his new team, but he finished the season on a high note and that is something he will hope (and need to) take into 2020.
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The Mets need the Stroman of the first half of 2019 to make a reappearance in 2020. They traded for him because they knew he was good but also because they knew that they were most likely going to lose Zack Wheeler.
While Wheeler can still return to the Mets, it does not seem likely, so we will begin to look at Stroman as his replacement.
If this postseason showed us anything, it’s that elite starting pitching wins championships. The Mets have had one of the best rotations in baseball over the past few seasons and need to maintain that as they seek to make a deep postseason run in 2020. This means getting the best out of each starting pitcher, including the one they traded for last summer.
The entire rotation, from Jacob deGrom to Steven Matz, is going to have to be excellent. It can be said that Stroman will be the rotation’s x-factor. If Stroman has a good season and Noah Syndergaard is good but not great, Stroman will most likely become the Mets’ number two guy behind deGrom.
Imagine the deGrom of 2019 and the Stroman of the first half of 2019 for a full season next year. That would be one of the best one-two punches in baseball.
The Mets need Stroman to be at his best pitching-wise, but they also need his energy. This Mets team is all about excitement, good energy, and staying in the fight. Stroman embodies all of these characteristics. This was evident in the few starts he made for the Mets this year and they will need him to keep that up from the get-go next year.
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The 2020 results will be that much better if Stroman is on top of his game. He really can be one of the team’s difference makers and could be the answer they have been searching for.