Energy. Marcus Stroman has a lot of it. Talking about the start of next season with him is a little like watching a race horse waiting to sprint out of the gates and start running. It’s still months before baseball returns to the Rogers Centre, but Stroman is already prepared to go out and take the mound for the 2017 season.
“I’m ready man, my body’s ready, I’ve been throwing and I’m ready to go,” he said.
Stroman says his knee is at 100% and he feels a lot stronger than last year, which will allow him to go deeper into games and pitch with more accuracy.
The 25-year-old has had a busy offseason, not out of necessity but by choice. “I’m someone who does much better with more on my plate than with less on my plate, I’ve always been that way,” he said.
One of the things he’s been working on in the offseason is his brand, Height Doesn’t Measure Heart (HDMH) which he says is currently run out of his house but may require expansion. “I literally just went home and my house is now like a warehouse. I had to go home and buy a shed so we could put a bunch of boxes and stuff in the backyard,” he said.
Besides working on his brand, Stroman has spent his offseason with family and friends as well as travelling. “I’m just doing everything I can to maximise living life and enjoying it,” he said.
However, his job as pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays is still priority number one. “First and foremost, I’m in the gym every single morning, pitching,” he said. “First and foremost is bringing a championship to this city, that always is, everything else is secondary.”
The plan is to do better than last year. The Jays made it to the ALCS in 2016. “We want to go further, and I think that’s kind of the mentality, just taking that into spring training, he said. I think that’s the goal and the mindset of everyone in the clubhouse.” To help the team during the 162-game marathon, Stroman says he wants to go deeper into games. “I want to be the guy to go out there seven innings, nine innings, to keep my team in it,” he said.
Stroman is excited to have long time Blue Jay Jose Bautista be one of those teammates. He says that Bautista has been instrumental in his career so far. “I remember one of the first starts in the big leagues, him coming over and talking to me about tempo and pitch selection. I’m always picking his brain about what to throw guys. He’s the first guy I go to, because I feel like he has the best strike zone judgement out of anyone in the big leagues.”
“I’m extremely happy to have Jose back, that’s my guy right there,” Stroman said.
As for himself, what’s left of his offseason before the team starts Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida won’t be spent staring at the wall or doing other forms of nothing. “I always like something happening, I don’t like sitting and playing games for three hours,” he said. I truly believe life is short and I’m just trying to make the most of my time here.”