Yankees’ new free agent starter is excited to take on the pressure of New York

marcus stroman, yankees
May 29, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) reacts as after forcing Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (not pictured) to hit into a double play during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody expected the New York Yankees to sign Marcus Stroman entering the offseason, and it seems that he didn’t think this union would happen either. In a media availability session earlier today, the right-hander spoke about his excitement about pitching in front of the fans and the possibility of starting the home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, by whom he was drafted and developed. There are few players in baseball with a more outspoken personality than Stroman, who feels as if he’s ‘the one to be in big moments’ and is excited to ‘feel the energy of the crowd’.

It’s a situation that has excited me more than anybody knows, when Cashman calls and says he wants you to play for the Yankees… it gives you chills, when Aaron Judge calls you and tells you he wants you to play for the Yankees it gives you chills.

– Marcus Stroman

Coming off of his second All-Star appearance last season, Marcus Stroman is hoping to feed off of a loud and passionate fanbase by providing some big starts throughout the season.

Marcus Stroman is Anxiously Awaiting Debut With the Yankees

yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) reacts after a strikeout to end the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman has certainly had his fair share of moments in the spotlight, for both good and bad reasons, but he has never shied away from attention. There’s already experience pitching in New York, as in 2021 he was the best pitcher on the Mets and had an incredible season, and before his hip injury last season he looked like he’d get some Cy Young votes in the National League. Father time is undefeated and Stroman is entering his age-33 season, but the hope is that the Yankees can keep him more consistent.

His sinker-heavy profile lends itself to a lot of groundballs and soft contact, which plays brilliantly with an infield defense for the Yankees that should be excellent. Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo are all brilliant with the glove and should help Stroman convert groundballs into outs, and Jose Trevino could be a huge help as well. Marcus Stroman lives in the lower quadrants of the strike zone and Trevino could steal plenty of strikes in big situations. This could be a brilliant battery, especially seeing how Gerrit Cole has gravitated to him over the last two seasons.

jose trevino, yankees
Feb 19, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (39) winds up during spring training practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitching was a huge issue for the Yankees last season as they struggled to stay healthy, and when guys were available they were often ineffective. Gerrit Cole was the best pitcher in the American League last season, and yet they finished 20th in fWAR (9.2), and the supporting cast around the reigning Cy Young winner will define the pitching staff in 2024. Marcus Stroman is likely to slide into the third spot in the rotation, and if he’s able to stabilize the rotation with quality innings, this rotation could guide the team to a first-place finish in the AL East.

Projections like the Yankees’ starting five, pegging them for the sixth-most rotation WAR (13.5) in baseball, and that kind of production would be exactly what they need to compete for a World Series. They may look to add another starter, as some insiders have floated the idea that the team could still be in pursuit of pitching, but that could also be reinforcements for the bullpen. Scott Effross’ injury could open up some innings for a new addition, but all eyes are set on what the rotation will look like on Opening Day.

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