The Blue Jays took the rubber match of their weekend series with the Red Sox at Fenway on Sunday thanks largely to another excellent pitching performance from Marcus Stroman. Along the way, Stroman, as he tends to do quite a bit, got an old-school mouthpiece to fill his diaper over something he did on the mound.
Here’s where it all begins. Stroman struck out Eduardo Nunez to put a cap on six shutout innings and let out a massive, audible “YEAH” for literally everyone in the stadium to hear. Remember, sports are competitive, and players rightfully get excited when they win.
I would run through a brick wall for Marcus Stroman. I need this man in The Bronx. pic.twitter.com/VDTElwvc1C
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) June 23, 2019
Pitching Ninja then caught Eckersley, the Hall of Famer and one of the all-time great closers, calling Stroman’s antics “tired” on the Red Sox broadcast…
That's not Dennis Eckersley calling Stroman's celebrations "tired," is it?
"He was aggressive and animated on the mound, and he was known for his intimidating stare and pumping his fist after a strikeout. "https://t.co/Cu6cA6k49A
Somewhere a pot is screaming at a kettle. pic.twitter.com/BbYKfT78Qj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 23, 2019
It’s important to remember that along the way to racking up 390 saves in the Major Leagues, Eckersley was known to be an intense pitcher on the mound, frequently pumping his fist and staring guys down after he struck them out. Again, this is a totally reasonable reaction to winning in sports.
Why on earth would Eckersley be filling his diaper about a pitcher getting fired up, just like he did during his career? Oh, geez, I don’t know. But Stroman has a theory…
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) June 23, 2019
Ohhhh fuck yeah. Of course, that makes sense.
Beyond Eckersley projecting his deep-seated frustrations about getting spanked in the 1992 American League Championship Series, Stroman also had Red Sox fans wetting themselves all over the internet…
The coolest thing about Marcus Stroman is that he consistently makes the world's biggest pants-wetting morons extremely mad pic.twitter.com/rp0HG9qQCr
— ℳatt (@matttomic) June 23, 2019
This is just like the bat flip discussion. You don’t like a pitcher getting fired up? Get your fucking bat on the ball. Stroman is justified in getting pumped up after shutting down the defending champions over six innings. Maybe the Red Sox should take it as a compliment that somebody gets so excited beating them.
Ah man, it’s going to be a sad day when Stroman is traded. Speaking of trades, MLB Trade Rumours pointed out the obvious reality yesterday that Aaron Sanchez’s value has completely plummeted into the ground.
With all this in mind, Sanchez would need a big turn-around over the next four weeks to merit the type of return that the Blue Jays want for a young (Sanchez turns 27 on July 1) pitcher who is controlled through the 2020 season. Controllable arms have enough value in baseball that the Jays would surely still get some type of decent offers for Sanchez, especially if there’s a team out there that believes it has a fix for Sanchez’s grip problems.
A case can be made that Toronto could opt to just hang onto Sanchez to see if he can ever get on track either after July 31st or in the first few months of the 2020 season. Sanchez is earning only $3.9MM this year and will only get a modest raise on that salary in his final season of arbitration eligibility, plus the Blue Jays will still need some kind of veteran rotation help next year.
I wonder if the play with Sanchez is to put him in the bullpen and try to rebuild his value from there. Beyond the issues with his grip that have manifested from him missing a good chunk of two seasons with those finger issues, Sanchez’s stamina appears to be down. He has a noticeable issue going deep into games, as shown by his velocity trends and splits by inning. Sanchez tends to do fine in the first inning and then the wheels fall off after that.
Sanchez, of course, was an excellent reliever for the Blue Jays during their playoff run back in 2015, and could potentially rebuild value if shifted back into that role. Obviously, you would rather have Sanchez be even a middle-of-the-pack starter than a one-inning guy out of the ‘pen, but, at this point, that might not be a possibility.