Is Marcus Stroman the clear front runner to start the All-Star Game for the National League
It’s no secret Marcus Stroman has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this season.
Stroman ranks first in the National League in ERA (2.45), WHIP (1.04), opponents’ batting average (.191) and quality starts (13). So, that should put him clearly in the mix for the starting job for the NL at this year’s All-Star Game in Seattle, right?
“Look, if Marcus Stroman is starting, nobody’s gonna be complaining,” Marquee Sports Network analyst Doug Glanville said Friday afternoon during Cubs Live! “Nobody has anything to criticize.”
Marcus Stroman has been the best pitcher in the National League through the first 2.5 months of the 2023 season. pic.twitter.com/XdKNSfq1Nz— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) June 16, 2023
No Cub pitcher has started the All-Star Game since Claude Passeau did so in 1946. Passeau was 10-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 98.2 innings before the Midsummer Classic. Stroman looks like he could join Passeau on an exclusive list.
The veteran righty has really been stellar of late. Over his last 6 starts, Stroman has a 1.51 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and has allowed just 1 home run over 41.2 innings of work.
“It’s bananas at this point,” Glanville said. “He’s been great.”
Bryce Elder (2.69 ERA/1.18 WHIP/.241 batting average against), Michael Wacha (2.89/1.06/.211) and Clayton Kershaw (2.95/1.11/.226) are likely his strongest competition, but Stroman’s numbers are still so superior to the other three — and he’s pitched nearly 10 innings more than any of those candidates.
Kershaw is near the end of his career and is a surefire Hall of Famer, so Phillies manager Rob Thompson may choose him. But if Stroman continues to pitch as he has been, it makes his case compelling to start the game at T-Mobile Park.
Stroman likely has around 4 more starts before the Midsummer Classic to further strengthen his campaign. And it could be just the beginning for Stroman.
“I don’t give you half years,” Stroman said Thursday night after another quality start. “My second halves are usually better than my first, so I’m excited for this year. I put a ton of work into this. A ton. A ton of work. And I’m just thankful that it’s all showing up.”
“That’s kinda scary,” Glanville said.
The American League’s best might get to see that firsthand.