Jays From the Couch looks into how Toronto Blue Jays’ starter, Marcus Stroman might fare against 2017 postseason teams
The Toronto Blue Jays are not in the playoffs. I get it. The post season has been fun, but it would be so much more enjoyable if Toronto had been playing even just one game. As it is, they’re all watching from home. We remember Marcus Stroman‘s performance last year with fondness. So far, we’ve only been able to watch and wonder what things would be like if he had been able to take the mound this year. Even though, we tweeted a few ideas, we can only guess. In that vein, what follows is a purely fun exercise to hypothetically imagine how The StroShow might have fared against current playoff teams.
Boston Red Sox
By the time you read this, the Red Sox will have been eliminated from the 2017 postseason, but we shouldn’t let our joy over that get in the way of this fun exercise.
Stroman has faced the Red Sox three times in 2017, 10 times over his career. He’s compiled a .283/.335/.400 line against them. In those 10 games, he’s struck out 50, walked 19 and given up 3 home runs. The Red Sox have seen an above average BABIP of .346. But, the real fun of this exercise lies in how he has done this season against this Red Sox lineup.
The hitter who has had the most success against Stroman is Andrew Benintendi who has 4 hits in 8 at bats as well as a walk. Only one of those hits went for extra bases and it was only a double. Mitch Moreland also has a double against Stroman, while Hanley Ramirez has 2. Only Eduardo Nunez has a home run against the 26 yr old righty. Overall, this season, the Red Sox had reasonable success against Stroman, hitting .324. They’ve only walked 4 times while striking out on 13 occasions. Ramirez, Benintendi and Mookie Betts have each scored two runs off Stroman.
New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers won a rather exciting Wild Card game against the Twins to have the distinct pleasure of facing Cleveland in the ALDS. While it is not clear if any team in the American League could beat Cleveland, the Yankees managed to win a game and were trying to stave off elimination at the time of writing.
How they fare in the ALDS is irrelevant to what we’re doing here, so even if they got knocked out, it doesn’t change our look at Stroman vs the Yankees. He’s had more success against New York. Maybe there was an added incentive to beat the team that plays not too far from his home growing up. For his career, Stroman faced the Yanks 13 times and held them to a .228/.298/.349 line. In those 13 games, he’s struck out 52 batters and walked 24.
The 2017 version of the Yankees has had a bit more success than above. They’ve slashed .297/.379/.473 in 5 games with 11 walks to 13 Ks. Aaron Judge is responsible for 3 of the 5 HR this year’s team hit, shocking as that is. Matt Holliday has just 2 hits, but he drove in 5 runs, including a homer. The Yankess pounded out 28 hits in total, which is nearly 6 per game.
Over the course of his young career, Stroman has faced Cleveland just 5 times, 2 of which came this season. Overall, they’ve slashed .252/.314/.288. You might be surprised to learn that they do not have a single home run against Stroman. Not one.
This season, they didn’t fare too well with a line of .229/.327/.271. In fact, Stroman did most of the work for them as he walked 7 batter sin those 2 games. He struck out 8 and gave up 11 hits, two of which were doubles. Edwin Encarnacion is responsible for 3 of those walks, one of which was intentional. In another funny turn, Edwin is Cleveland’s only 2017 hitter to drive in a run off Stroman. Jose Ramirex has three hits in 6 at bats this season and Michael Brantley and Edwin each have two.
Stroman did a reasonable job of limiting the damage against Cleveland’s lineup, which would be great for the Blue Jays if they were to face them in the playoffs again…maybe next year.
Like Cleveland, the Astros haven’t seen Stroman that often. He has just 5 games against them as well. They’ve slashed .271/.315/.356 with 34 strike outs and just 7 walks. They scored but 8 runs over those 5 games.
But, this 2017 team is a special lineup. They score runs. That said, Stroman held them to just 4 over 2 outings this year. They slashed .321/.373/.377. They also have not taken Stroman deep this year. There are 9 teams that do not have a homer off Stroman and Cleveland and Houston are two of them.
Marwin Gonzalez has had himself quite a year, but it wasn’t helped by at bats against Stroman. He has but one hit in 6 at bats to go with two Ks. Not surprisingly, Jose Altuve has a couple hits, a run, but also has two Ks. Carlos Beltran has three singles in four at bats. Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick each have a couple hits.
If the Blue Jays had to face the Astros in this postseason, likely they would recall the series in Toronto where Houston ran roughshod. But, sending Stroman to the mound would certainly tip the scales in Toronto’s favour…at least for one game.
The Blue Jays are not in the playoffs. And, as much as we would love to see Marcus Stroman take the mound, he is watching at home. Oddly, the two better teams in this year’s playoffs, Houston and Cleveland, would have a more difficult time against him than the other American League representatives, who have the advantage of facing him more often.
The other thing to consider in this totally meaningless exercise is Stroman’s ability to shine in important games. If the game were at home in the Rogers Centre, this would be amplified that much more. He feeds off the energy. Perhaps, that added boost could tip things in his favour even more. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year to see if this is true.
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*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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