Mets' Marcus Stroman says he's added some Jacob deGrom-inspired tweaks to his delivery

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Alex Smith
·3 min read
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Marcus Stroman amped up after pitch
Marcus Stroman amped up after pitch

Marcus Stroman’s arsenal of pitches is already among the best of any pitcher in baseball, but it turns out that the Long Island native has added some tweaks to his delivery, inspired by none other than two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.

During an interview with Rob Friedman, better known by his “Pitching Ninja” social media handle, Stroman explained how much he’s been picking deGrom’s brain, as he's watched him in bullpen sessions and tries to pick up as much as he can from one of the best pitchers in the game.

“I’m excited to be around him. I literally go out and just watch his bullpens like a little kid,” Stroman said. “I sit right behind him in his bullpens. He lets me sit there, chill, ask him questions. He’s the man, bro. He’s so low key, but he’s the man and he’s always open to helping and always just wants you to be your best as well.

“I’ll go into a bullpen and pick his mind. To be honest, people don’t understand but I have a lot of little tweaks I’m going to be coming out with this year that deGrom inspired, whether it be maybe where my foot position is on the mound or where my hand pump is or what it is that deGrom’s thinking about when he has his hand pump or when he lifts his leg. I’ve incorporated a lot of things that he’s doing that have helped me stay more compact and more stable and fluid in my delivery.”

But even Stroman knows that as hard as he or anybody else can try, there’s no one out there who can exactly replicate what deGrom does every time he toes the rubber. And that has a lot to do with what Stroman calls the game’s greatest delivery.

“DeGrom’s got the best mechanics, I tell anybody, and a lot of it’s his body, how much of an athlete he is. A lot of it is also physical and what he was born with,” Stroman said. “I think deGrom has the best hip disassociation out of any pitcher or anybody in the league, and you can’t replicate. This is why you can’t say ‘Oh, go have deGrom’s mechanics.’ Nobody can have that. His hip disassociation, his ability to open up his hips on his stride length and keep his top half still loaded back is f---ing incredible. You can’t teach that.”

DeGrom’s numbers over the course of the last three seasons are just downright silly. In his 76 starts, the Mets’ ace has pitched to a 2.10 ERA and 0.943 WHIP, striking out 11.6 batters per nine innings while compiling a 20.0 pitching WAR.

Stroman, who pitched to a 3.22 ERA in 2019 and had 11 starts with the Mets that year before opting out of the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has aspirations of adding “Cy Young Award winner” next to his own name, but he knows that if deGrom can stay healthy, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to have a better season than No. 48.

“DeGrom is unbelievable. As long as he stays healthy for 30 starts, deGrom’s gonna win [the Cy Young Award]. … DeGrom’s the best pitcher in baseball, bro. It’s no debate. It’s not even close to a debate with me. It’s not even remotely a discussion,” Stroman said. “I thought this before being around him. After being around him, it just kind of puts it in stone, man. That guy is one of the most elite pitchers that we will ever speak about.

“I can’t wait to be around him for a full year. I think I’m going to learn so much from him. Plus, my body, my mind’s at the best place it’s been in my career. ... I actually believe my best years are ahead of me. So, I’m just excited, man.”