Cubs: Will short spring cause issues for Marcus Stroman early on?

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the consequences of this offseason’s lengthy lockout and the delayed start to spring training is the shortened ramp-up period for players ahead of the regular season – and Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman is no exception.

The veteran right-hander made his third spring appearance against the Reds on Monday, working two wildly inefficient frames before turning around and needing just eleven pitches to get through another two innings. When it was all said and done, he packed up and headed down to the bullpen to throw a bit longer as he looks to get ready for the season.

Talking with after the game, Stroman acknowledged he still hasn’t hit his stride mechanically – and he’s continuing to work through that aspect of his game with just over a week until the Cubs open the 2022 campaign at Wrigley Field against the Brewers.

"“I’m going to go in my mirror a million times tonight,” Stroman said, “to just get my mechanics right … “I’m just being very, very critical. I want to feel perfect going into the season, so I have a little bit of work to do. … Once it clicks, I’ll kind of run with it. It’s just not there yet.”"

After watching last year’s starting rotation go up in flames, there might be some folks out there watching Stroman with some trepidation. After all, he’s easily the team’s biggest pitching acquisition of the offseason and there’s a lot resting on his success on the mound.

So all this made me wonder: how has Stroman historically started? Is he a guy who takes some time to get rolling or is he one of those players who seem to hit the ground running every year?

Cubs: Historically, Marcus Stroman has been strong early in the season

Last year with the Mets, the right-hander made six starts in the season’s first month, working to a dazzling 1.84 ERA. In 19 first-half outings, he put up a 2.74 ERA across 98 2/3 innings. He’s historically been reliable as the season gets underway, which is good news for a Cubs team searching for answers in the rotation early on.

Even if Stroman gets off to a hot start, that obviously won’t be enough for the Cubs to follow suit. As we saw last year, New York went 10-11 in the first month – despite Stroman’s brilliance. But it’s also clear: Chicago cannot afford Stroman to fall flat in the first year of his deal.

Noted Cub killer Albert Pujols returns to St. Louis for 2022. dark. Next

Cubbies Crib
Cubbies Crib /

Want your voice heard? Join the Cubbies Crib team!

Write for us!

There’s not a guy in the mix who doesn’t have questions surrounding him and the Cubs need at least one go-to presence to turn to every five days. Based on what he’s done in his career, Stroman is ready to be that guy early in the year, despite the fact he’s still ironing out some kinks with his mechanics down in Arizona.