Chicago Cubs All-Star starting pitcher Marcus Stroman made his final start of the first half on Thursday in the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Stroman was the victim of bad umpiring and that led to the starting pitcher allowing 4 runs in 5 innings of work while striking out 6. Regardless, Stroman had a phenomenal first half of the season with the Cubs.
Through 19 starts this season, Stroman has a posted 2.96 ERA while making a strong case for the Cubs to consider a contract extension for the veteran starting pitcher. Unfortunately, Thursday's loss to the Brewers likely moved the Cubs closer to being sellers at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline and Stroman is a prime candidate to be moved before August 1.
Stroman was selected for the 2023 MLB All-Star game but confirmed with reporters after his start on Thursday that he will not be pitching in the game.
Stroman, who also pitched in the World Baseball Classic, has been a workhorse for the Cubs' starting rotation this season. While it certainly would be exciting to see Stroman take the mound for the National League next Tuesday, the second half of the season is far more important for the team and the starting pitcher.
For the Cubs, the team needs Stroman healthy and ready for the second half of the season. The Cubs' contending hopes this season are on life support and it will take a winning streak to begin the second-half of the season to avoid being sellers at the deadline. In the event that the Cubs are sellers, they also would need Stroman to be healthy for a potential trade.
Cubs' starting pitcher Justin Steele remains a candidate to be the National League starter for the All-Star game on Tuesday. As for the Cubs' position player All-Star, shortstop Dansby Swanson, he is currently dealing with a heel injury and his status for the game likely will be clarified after this weekend's series for the team against the New York Yankees.