Why you should believe in Yankees' Marcus Stroman entering 2024

New York Yankees Photo Day
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Did anyone have a redemption arc on their 2024 bingo card?

Many fans and analysts were skeptical when the New York Yankees initially signed starting pitcher Marcus Stroman earlier this winter. His previous social media antics and commentary made some nervous, but since joining the pinstripes, he’s shown the kind of passion and focus that should excite fans.

Contrary to popular belief, the 32-year-old is a lifelong Yankee fan. Despite earning a reputation as a detractor, he’s seemed to already embrace the idea of playing for the Bronx Bombers after inking a below-market, two-year, $37 million contract in January, turning down overtures from the Angels and Giants.

“I don’t know if I envisioned it [growing up], but playing for the New York Yankees as an organization is like the pinnacle of the sport,” Stroman told the New York Post. “I feel like every player when you embark on this journey to play at the highest level, I feel like everyone wants to be a Yankee at some point."

“It’s kind of like the world-wide phenomenon you grow up watching, even if you’re not from New York. It’s an honor,” said Stroman. “I’m very grateful and thankful to be part of this organization. It’s an honor to put the pinstripes on and I don’t take that lightly. I’m excited to get to work.”

The Medford native has also used social media to voice his readiness. He’s made it clear that he’s “locked in” for the season, and is coming off a successful 2023 that saw him post a 10-9 record as well as a 3.95 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, he ranked in the 94th percentile in terms of ground ball rate and the 88th percentile in terms of barrel%. And, at Yankee Stadium, the more ground balls the better.

Stroman has been consistent since a rough 2018 that saw him put up a 5.54 ERA. Since then, he's totaled a 3.38 ERA across 638.2 innings pitched.

Yankees fans can expect consistency from Marcus Stroman

With his average fastball being around 92 MPH, Stroman is not your prototypical starter. His game relies more on finesse than power. In theory, this style requires pitchers to be more methodical and less reliant on an overpowering fastball.

Having a “locked in”  Stroman could benefit the Yankees in this regard. If he’s happy and focused, the righty may experience another solid campaign. This possibility should excite even the most skeptical fan.

The past few seasons have left many wondering if “pinstripe pride” still exists and if New York can ultimately construct something truly sustainable. Whether or not one was initially a fan of the signing, it is undeniable that Stroman is teasing an intensity that fans love to see.

There are no guarantees in baseball, and it may be hasty to make any bold predictions before the regular season has even started. But, it’s certainly encouraging to see Stroman show his competitive tendencies and an overall appreciation for the opportunity in front of him.