When you watch Marcus Stroman play, you can see how much of a competitor he is. He’s been through a lot during his career, but no matter what, he’s determined to leave it all out on the field when he steps on that mound.
Melanated Mound Marauder
Stroman has been the Chicago Cubs ace this year, leading the team in strikeouts (62) and ERA (2.59).
Through 12 starts, he’s carrying a 5-4 record with a complete game under his belt. He’s making a strong case to be named to the National League all-star team and in the running for the Cy Young Award.
This brother has battled through injuries time after time throughout his career and that can take a toll out of you as a player.
When faced with adversity, Stroman has shown that you can overcome it and still become the best version of yourself. Stroman has learned to take care of his body, both mentally and physically and we can see how much that is paying off for the 32-year-old.
Importance of mental health for Stroman
When Stroman signed with the Cubs in December of 2021, he posted on social media what his offseason routine consisted of. And part of that routine was focusing on his mental health. We’re starting to see more and more athletes today taking time out to focus on their mental health.
They are starting to understand how important it is to prioritize their mental health. For Stroman, he knew that this was something he did not want to take for granted.
“It’s more important as a human being, first and foremost,” he said in an NBC Sports article. “I think mental health is one of the most important aspects that people don’t focus on.”
Stroman understands that he is more than an MLB pitcher. He has a life outside of baseball and he wants to make sure he’s taking good care of himself.
“This world is a lot,” he said. “It’s a toxic place at times and it can drive you to the place where you kind of want to go crazy at times.”
“I’ve never been more calm in my life,” he said. “I’m able to find my calm, work through any adversity, through any turbulence.”
Stroman’s impact on the teams he’s played for
Stroman has played for three different teams, spending most of his time with the Toronto Blue Jays where he won a Gold Glove Award in 2017.
He also got a taste of the postseason in 2015 and 2016. Stroman possesses that swag and competitiveness on the mound that baseball fans weren’t used to seeing.
Stroman won a total of 47 games during his time in Toronto. He was traded to the New York Mets during the 2019 season, and he decided not to play during the COVID shortened season in 2020.
During the 2021 season, he led the Mets’ starting rotation in wins with 10 and he finished the season with a 3.02 ERA and 158 strikeouts.
Stroman joined the Cubs in December of 2021, signing a three-year deal worth $71 million. In his first season with Chicago, he made 25 starts and finished with a 6-7 record with a 3.50 ERA.
He was named the Opening Day starter this season and picked up the win against the Milwaukee Brewers, going six innings and striking out eight. Stroman has embraced his time in Chicago, and the city and fans have done nothing but welcome him with open arms.
He has also enjoyed playing with his teammates. On May 29, Stroman was lights out against the Tampa Bay Rays, throwing a complete game only allowing one hit while striking out eight.
“I’m appreciative,” Stroman said in an article from mlb.com. “I’m now being more conscious and just trying to really enjoy the moments. In the past, I feel like I would just forget about it and already worry about the next start. I’m really trying to appreciate the vibe here.”
Stroman is taking full advantage of playing with catchers Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes.
“I’m very different,” he said. “I don’t look at any analytical information and I don’t even look at lineups. I essentially don’t know who I’m facing until I go into the game. Catchers now are so in tune, especially Yan and Tucker.”
“These guys not only are reading swings, swing to swing, but they’re also doing their reports and know, one through nine, how they’re going to attack. I’m someone who, I’m much better when I can just be fluid and in motion and not have to overthink.”
If Stroman can continue to make an impact for the Cubs the way he’s been doing this season, he can find himself getting an extension when his contract ends.
Marcus Stroman’s foundation: “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart”
While he continues to play the game of baseball at a high level, Stroman makes time for his foundation “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart,” (HDMH) which was established in 2019. It’s not only a mentality, but also an apparel company and lifestyle brand where he personally designs each clothing piece.
The name of the foundation is very fitting for Stroman, who is only 5-foot-8. Stroman has shown time after time that height does not matter, and you can accomplish your dreams if you really want to and work hard at it.
The Medford, LI native also completed a series of children’s books in the offseason, designed to inspire kids and help them overcome life’s challenges in a positive manner.
Stroman wants to inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams, whether it’s sports focused or a different avenue.
While Stroman has a lot going on between his professional and personal life, he makes time to do the things that are important to him. Whether it’s focusing on his mental health, giving back to the community through his foundation, giving words of inspiration on social media, taking racism to task or showing support for everyone’s personal sexual choices, Stroman stands strong to his beliefs.
He takes that same energy, dedication and emotion to the mound. That’s why he’s a well-respected player and individual who continues to make an impact as an MLB ballplayer.