Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/22/13
Marcus Stroman is back, and he’s back big — at least to the degree a 5-foot-9 pitcher can be described as big. His first performance of the 2013 season certainly was. The 22-year-old Toronto Blue Jays prospect threw five scoreless innings, with six strikeouts, for Double-A New Hampshire on Sunday. Drafted 22nd-overall last year out of Duke, the right-hander saw his season start late due to a 50-game suspension incurred last August. Before going afoul of Minor League Baseball’s drug program, he made 15 appearances between two levels. Stroman talked about what he brings to the mound — including his cutter-slider and his non-max-effort delivery — prior to Monday’s game in Portland, Maine. —— Stroman on his suspension and starting over: “[The suspension] was for an over-the-counter stimulant I was taking. I didn’t know it was something I’d test positive for. It was definitely hard to cope with. I was sent home, then went to instructs for three or four weeks. I closed there — I didn’t start. “When I reported to spring training they let me know they were going to give me a chance to start this year. I had all these games I had to serve, and they stretched me out during spring training and extended. I was able to work on all four of my pitches, and really develop into a starter’s role. “I loved being told I was going to start. I certainly wasn’t mad, or anything like that. I did both at Duke, so I have experience with both. I knew I’d be able to get into a good routine and really get going. “I honestly couldn’t tell you what the Blue Jays are thinking down the road — I just know I’m starting now. I feel I can have success as a starter, I definitely don’t feel I’ll be limited to the bullpen.” On his velocity and mechanics: “Honestly, there’s not much difference. With the workout program I’ve been doing, I’ve been able to hold my velocity as a starter. I’ll be anywhere from 92 to 95-96 for however many innings, five or six. When I come out of the pen, it’s normally about the same. I might be sitting a little higher, but for the most part my velocity is the same. “I’ve never been a max-effort guy. I stay in my mechanics. I have pretty unique mechanics that allow me to get the most out of my body and my height. I feel if I stay smooth in my mechanics, the ball comes out just as well on every pitch. “I’m really on my legs. I really propel, and force myself off the mound. That’s how I’m able to throw hard for my size. And I have a little twist that adds deception, as well helps me stay on my back side. Because of that it might appear that I’m max effort, but I can tell you firsthand I’m nowhere near max-effort. I’ve seen max-effort, and that’s not me.” On his repertoire: “I throw mostly fours. I’ll throw an occasional two-seam, but I pitch mostly off my four-seam fastball. I feel I’m able to throw it through the zone pretty well. I get some arm-side tail, mostly to lefties, but it’s not necessarily what I’m trying to do — it’s just how it comes off my fingers at times. If anything, I have late life. “I’m throwing a slider-cutter now. It’s a slider and anywhere from 85 to 88. My progression was… we were trying to get my slider harder. I used to throw a slider and a cutter, so we kind of banged the slider. I was throwing a cutter, but it basically developed into the slider I throw now. That’s the reason I use those two references. When I’m throwing the pitch, I think cutter, but it’s more of a true slider. It has depth to it. “I can actually change it, depending on the count. I can make it have more depth or I can have it move more horizontally, depending on the batter and the count. “I also throw a curveball and changeup. My changeup is still fairly new. I worked on it all spring and have gotten it to the point where it’s a good pitch, but I definitely want to get it better. It’s a four-seam circle. My curveball isn’t a true 12-6. It’s a hard curveball — anywhere from 78 to 81 — but it’s pretty big and has late break.” On his approach: “I let the game dictate itself, but I definitely like to establish my fastball first. A key I’ve learned, pitching at this level, is that you have to establish in. You have to throw fastballs in, because if you don’t, hitters get way too comfortable. “I see how hitters are reacting to my fastball and work off that. I’m reading hitters. I’m making sure me and my catcher are on the same page, but I’m also reading swings. I want to throw the pitch I want, and hopefully my catcher agrees. “Going forward I think I’ll use more [data and scouting reports]. It can’t do anything but help. That said, I’ve never been a guy to overanalyze stats and think too much. I don’t want to get to the point I’m out there thinking too much about which pitch I want to throw to which hitter. I like to attack.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

Is it time to start taking West Ham seriously?

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker