Spring Training Notebook: An exciting day for Cubs with Marcus Stroman, Seiya Suzuki
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There was plenty of excitement and buzz around the Cubs on Friday. It started early in the afternoon, with the announcement of outfielder Seiya Suzuki officially signing a 5-year deal.
The buzz continued into Friday night at Scottsdale Stadium, where Marcus Stroman made his debut as a Cub against the Giants.
“Feel like it’s been a while, definitely felt almost new,” Stroman said after his outing. “The adrenaline, the competition, just felt good to get back out there.”
Stroman struck out 3 in 2 shutout innings against San Francisco. Stroman induced weak contact, too, forcing a pair of groundouts to second base and then a fly ball to center field. He even broke out his strikeout strut after one of his punchouts.
“Did I do something? Man, I blacked out, I don’t know what’s going on,” Stroman said. “I have to see things afterwards most of the time to see what happens.”
Stroman’s outing was his first time throwing to catcher Yan Gomes in a competitive setting (he threw to Gomes in his first bullpen at the Cubs complex on March 12).
“His sequencing for not knowing me was pretty incredible,” Stroman said. “I’m looking forward to working with him.”
It was a positive first step for Stroman as he builds up towards Opening Day.
“Next start will be 3 innings, then 4 innings then hopefully get to 5, maybe 6, then ready to roll,” Stroman said.
Speaking of excitement, around 40 journalists, both foreign and domestic, were on hand for Suzuki’s press conference in the morning.
The contingency of reporters followed Suzuki from the press area to the agility field at the Cubs complex (where he warmed up) to Field 1 (where he did some running drills) and, finally, to Sloan Park (where he did fielding drills in right field, took batting practice and then saw live batting practice).
“It’s exhilarating, it’s awesome, man,” Stroman said. “Obviously, as a group we think we think we can compete, but anytime you see your front office going out there and doing things to put the team in a better position it gives you a little bit more confidence as well.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Suzuki, the Cubs placed righty Adbert Alzolay on the 60-day IL with a right shoulder strain. Alzolay suffered the injury just before the lockout was lifted.