TORONTO – It was in that city that he got his start in Major League Baseball and established himself as one of the promising young starters in the game.
So the Cubs’ visit to Toronto early this week to take on the Blue Jays in a three-game series is a little extra special to Marcus Stroman.
The starter spent the first 5 1/2 seasons in the majors with the Blue Jays, the team that drafted him, and made his only All-Star appearance so far representing that franchise. He’ll get the start on Tuesday for the Cubs against his former team at the Rogers Center, but he didn’t wait that long to send his praises to the fans of that city.
On Monday, Stroman took to Twitter ahead of the Cubs’ visit to salute the Blue Jays fans for their support turning his time with that club.
“CANADA! I love you all. Toronto will forever hold a special place in my heart,” said Stroman in his tweet. “The culture, the people, and the city are second to none. Thank you for always showing love and riding with me. Beyond thankful and grateful for my time here.
“Will forever come back and visit!”
Drafted 22nd overall by the Blue Jays in the 2012 MLB Draft out of Duke University, Stroman made his debut in 2014 with the club and pitched in 135 regular season games. He had a 47-45 record with a 3.76 ERA and helped the team to playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016.
During the 2019 season, Stroman was named an American League All-Star with Toronto before he was dealt to the Mets at the trade deadline. The starter would finish out that season in New York, opted out of the 2020 pandemic-shortened campaign, then pitched in 33 games with the Mets in 2021.
Stroman never got a chance to return to Toronto in interleague play in New York but gets that shot in 2022 with the Cubs. In 18 starts this season, Stroman is 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA with 84 strikeouts compared to 27 walks with a WHIP of 1.221.