It is almost hard to watch Marcus Stroman this year. Every once in awhile, he throws that low fastball that seems to start and end on the same horizontal plane – not dropping an inch from the time it leaves his hand to the time it crosses the plate at the batters’ knees. But those trademark pitches are few and far between. More likely you don’t see where the ball ends up until the replay, because the batter has smashed it for a line drive double into the gap. It’s sad really to watch the face of this former Blue Jay ace and see an expression that – well – shows the stunned look of a young man who simply seems to have no answer.
Last game – May 8 – Stroman, who has now won a total of Zero games (he is 0-5), gave up five runs, nine hits, and walked two in five innings. Another loss, further adding to his season-long struggles. And, the renowned ground ball pitcher gave up yet another home run – for the fourth game in a row – obviously, not the ground ball he was hoping for. His ERA? Almost a run an inning.
Happy 27th Birthday to Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman. pic.twitter.com/qLH0Hk6bMs
— CanuckBaseballPlus (@CanuckBBPlus) May 1, 2018
So, what’s the deal? And, when you think about it, doesn’t it remind Blue Jays’ fans of former “Ace-for-a Year” Ricky Romaro? For those who remember, during the Jays’ so-so 2011 season, Ricky Romero jumped into the spotlight as the Jays’ top pitcher and even one of the best prospects in the American League. He was even a 2011 All-Star and finished with an ERA under 3.00 (that’s less than a run every three innings).
Sadly, Stroman’s 2018 season seems the mirror image of Romero’s 2012 season. His ERA is bloated; he can’t control his pitches; and, he just cannot get hitters out. History tells us that Romero never found himself again; and, by 2013, he was simply gone. Last we saw Romero, he had signed with the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League; but, even there, he couldn’t get anyone out. His record as a relief pitcher was 1 Win, 1 Loss, and 1 Save. He is now inactive.
As a Blue Jays’ fan, I hope Stroman’s fate is better. But, here’s just asking: Haven’t we seen this all before?