For the second time in his career, Marcus Stroman was selected for the All-Star game, but this time around, he won’t be taking the mound. 


The 32-year-old has been phenomenal for the Cubs through the first half of the season. In an MLB-high 19 starts this season, Stroman has turned in a 2.96 ERA with a .205 opponents’ average in 112 2/3 innings while leading baseball in quality starts (14). 



Why Won’t Marcus Stroman Pitch At All-Star Game 


A main factor to remember for this decision is that on top of the workload of being the Cubs’ ace, Stroman started this season after ramping things up early to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. 


“It’s been a huge process,” Stroman said. “I’m very thankful for everybody who’s helped me get to this point. I’m definitely looking forward to having a little bit of a break — kind of just reset my energy, clear my mind, and have a good second half.”



Fatigue has reared its ugly head in Stroman’s last three starts, as he’s allowed 15 runs over 14 innings in that span. In only two other games this season, the right-hander has allowed more than two runs. 


Travel also plays a major part in maintaining a pitcher’s body over the course of 30-35 starts during the 162-game season, and the addition of the WBC, London Series, and Midsummer Classic is a necessary consideration. 


“It’s been a lot, as far as travel from London back to here,” Stroman said of the recent schedule. “I’m going to put a priority on my body [and] my mind.”

Cubs Playoff Run

Stroman’s precautionary move could play beneficial in two major ways. The first is the Cubs’ potential second-half playoff run. Sitting just eight games back in the National League Central behind the first-place Reds and six games behind the second-place Brewers, it’s not unprecedented to see a comeback with Stroman leading the rotation at 100%.  


“I want my players healthy when they get back,” manager David Ross said. “But like, listen, I don’t ever think it’s healthy for our sport or anybody to think the All-Star Game is something we should not participate in and, and looked down upon.


“This is a special honor those guys get. And it’s a great, great opportunity to be around other great players and get experiences and see how other guys do things.”


The second major payout for Stroman focusing on his health instead of the Midsummer Classic is the ability to opt out of his three-year, $71 million contract after this season or the possibility of being traded at the deadline on Aug. 1 if the Cubs’ record slips in July. 


“That’s the conundrum,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said this week.


Stroman has made it clear that he wants to remain with the Cubs organization and is putting his best foot forward to help them make a push after the break.


Marcus Stroman Wants To Stay In Chicago, But Cubs Haven’t Offered Him An Extension Despite Cy Young Caliber Season


But the team on the North Side of Chicago has a lot of decisions to make about the two-time All-Star and Cy Young candidate.

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