Subtle Changes to Marcus Stroman’s Delivery Are Paying Off

There’s something different about Marcus Stroman these days. Not just his demeanor on the mound, but his overall performance. After struggling for months, something finally clicked with Stroman and he’s beginning to look like his old self again.

During a seven-game stretch from mid-May to mid-June, Marcus Stroman pitched to an ERA of 7.99 and allowed 60 hits over the course of 40 innings. Stroman was hit often and he was hit hard.

But things are looking up for Marcus. In his past five starts dating back to June 26th, Marcus Stroman’s ERA is only 3.90 and he’s averaging just over six hits per game.


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So why the sudden turnaround? It looks like a few subtle changes to Marcus Stroman’s delivery have made all the difference. It may not seem like much, but Stroman has made a few small alterations to his windup and delivery.

 

Stroman’s Delivery Comparison: Apr 8 vs BOS/ Jul 6 vs KCR

Stroman-Comp-800

The first which is his very first step. Earlier in the season (the left side of the GIF), there were many working parts to his first step. If you watch his right foot, he pivots twice before coming to home plate. In Stroman’s new delivery, his right foot doesn’t pivot at all.

Whereas most recently, Stroman is simply rocking back onto his left leg and driving towards home plate. This is a trick Marcus Stroman apparently picked up from David Price; simply stepping backwards on his plant foot to initiate delivery.

With much less working parts, this allows Marcus Stroman to be much more consistent in his delivery. Shi Davidi spoke to Pete Walker about how these slight alterations have helped Marcus Stroman turn the corner:

“Anytime you have a lot of movement in your delivery, there‚Äôs always the possibility of getting out of whack, more movement means more moving parts. For him, simplifying the delivery concentrates him on getting his hands out on time, because sometimes when his hands are high, he breaks high and sometimes a little late.

With his height, he has to do everything he can to stay on top of the baseball. By lowering his hands a little bit, simplifying the delivery, minimizing his head movement, getting his hands out on time definitely makes a difference.

It puts him in position to be more consistent.”

In the screencap below, also notice how Stroman is angled much more directly to the third base side in this sequence than home plate. Again, it’s a very subtle change, but his body begins nearly perpendicular to home plate in his new delivery.

Stroman Comp Legs
Stroman Leg Comparison: April 8 vs BOS – July 6 vs KCR

The other highly noticeable change in Marcus Stroman’s delivery is his hand position.

Stroman Comp Glove
Stroman Glove Comparison: April 8 vs BOS – July 6 vs KCR

Earlier in the season, Stroman’s glove was all the way up to his head at this point in his delivery. In recent weeks, he’s moved his hands down to waist-level, so they’re belt-high instead of up by his head.


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Lastly, there’s a subtle difference in the before and after of Marcus Stroman’s release point.

Stroman Comp Release
Stroman Release Point: April 8 vs BOS – July 6 vs KCR

It’s a little difficult to tell in this particular screencap, but not only is Marcus Stroman’s new release point slightly higher, it’s also a little closer to his body.

I don’t claim to know exactly how or why these changes are benefiting Marcus Stroman, but they simply are. A much more compact windup and delivery is the simple explanation.

In this case, we don’t exactly need to know the particulars, just that Marcus Stroman has made an adjustment, and the results are promising thus far.

Image via Getty Images Sport/Christian Petersen

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

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