Is Marcus Stroman angling to join the Boston Red Sox?
Maybe not. But the veteran pitcher, who’s set to become a free agent this offseason after spending the 2021 Major League Baseball campaign with the New York Mets, certainly opened himself to some recruitment from fans on social media Tuesday night by praising several members of the Red Sox via Twitter during Boston’s American League Wild Card Game win over the New York Yankees.
To be fair, Stroman also was complimentary of Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who exited the winner-take-all playoff matchup after just two-plus innings, as well as Washington Nationals phenom Juan Soto. But Stroman saved some of his highest praise for the Red Sox, even acknowledging the huge edge the club enjoys when playing in front of the Boston crowd.
“Fenway Park. That atmosphere and energy alone make it extremely difficult on the opposing team,” Stroman tweeted. “One of the best home field advantages in all of sports!”
Here are some of the other Red Sox-related highlights from Stroman live-tweeting during the AL Wild Card Game:
On Rafael Devers
“Having faced both throughout my career…Devers and Soto are very similar in their ability to lay off pitches slightly out of the zone while aggressively swinging at pitches in the box. Their pitch recognition is top-tier. It’s a chess match against those two always!”
“Devers at the plate/box presence and big breathe before every pitch is elite.”
On Xander Bogaerts
“Wow. Bogaerts. He’s been raking against me for years. Lol he doesn’t have any holes in that swing. You have to expand way off the plate from pitch one with quality pitches. His bat path allows him to cover any velocity/off-speed in the zone while maximizing on the bad pitches!”
On Nathan Eovaldi
“Watch for Eovaldi’s quick pitch. One of my favorites in the game!”
“Told y’all about that quick pitch! I’m bringing back all the timing and delivery variations next year. I’m now inspired by Eovaldi!”
“Eovaldi out!? Sheeeesh. I understand it. I get it. It’s a one game take all and moves must be made…but the starter in me hates that more than anything. Lol my man had the stuff/feel/strength to go 7/8/9 innings tonight. Cheers to Eovaldi!”
On Christian Vázquez
“Love to see my dawg Vasquez cheering on Plawecki. Great managerial decision thus far. Vasquez is unreal behind the dish and brings a dynamic to the game that can’t be matched. Interested to see how it plays out!”
On Kyle Schwarber
“Schwarber has been killing high fastballs all season. Even ones above the zone. That man made an unbelievable adjustment to his swing and it’s paying big dividends!”
On Tanner Houck
“Tanner Houck is filthy. Been locked in on his videos on @PitchingNinja! That slider/two-seam differential in horizontal movement is insane!”
Now, it’s entirely possible Stroman would have been equally as complimentary of the Yankees had Tuesday’s game unfolded in New York’s favor. Still, it was entertaining and informative to hear a fellow big leaguer’s insight on some of the Red Sox’s most notable stars.
Might Stroman someday become teammates with the likes of Devers, Bogaerts, Eovaldi, etc.? It’s a question that was raised multiple times in the replies to his tweets. And while Stroman didn’t take the bait, it’s certainly fair to wonder with him about to hit the open market and Boston likely to explore the starting pitching market this winter.
Stroman spent his first five-plus seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before landing with the Mets at the 2019 MLB trade deadline. The right-hander opted out of the 2020 season — a campaign condensed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — before signing New York’s one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer for 2021.
Stroman, a 2019 All-Star, was excellent in his age-30 season, posting a 3.02 ERA, a 3.49 FIP and a 1.15 WHIP across 33 starts (179 innings) with the Mets in 2021. His ground-ball rate (50.8%) and walk rate (5.9%) both were well above league average, an intriguing combination for Fenway Park.
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