Having two baseball teams in New York naturally leads to competition between their players and fans, with the people who play for or root for the Mets likely having a bit of an inferiority complex because of the team’s lack of success compared to the Yankees. The usually friendly rivalry made some headlines toward the end of the regular season when Mets starter Marcus Stroman took some offense at comments Yankees GM Brian Cashman made about him. Here’s what happened.
Marcus Stroman heads to Queens
After spending five-plus seasons with the Blue Jays, Toronto traded Marcus Stroman to the Mets a few days before the trade deadline in exchange for a couple of minor-league pitchers, one of whom — Anthony Kay — made three appearances for Toronto in September.
Stroman made 11 starts for the Mets, going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. His ERA with the Mets was 0.81 higher than the ERA Stroman posted with the Jays earlier in the season, which is unusual given he went from the American League to the National League and had the advantage of facing pitchers instead of designated hitters. Overall, the Mets had to be disappointed with Stroman’s performance after the trade.
Brian Cashman’s comments on Marcus Stroman
In a profile of Cashman on Yahoo Sports late in the season, the topic of a potential Yankee trade for Stroman came up. Wallace Matthews wrote in the Yahoo piece that the Blue Jays were demanding Cashman include OF Clint Frazier in a trade for Stroman, and Matthews quotes the longtime Yankee GM as admitting that the team had interest in acquiring Stroman but “didn’t think he would be a difference-maker.”
Cashman also said that the Yankees thought that Stroman “would be in [the] bullpen in the postseason,” rather than cracking the October rotation. Some people took that comment to be a slight or a jab at Stroman. One of those people who felt it was an unfair statement was Marcus Stroman himself.
Stroman’s response to Cashman’s quote
In response to Cashman’s comment, Stroman did what athletes do in 2019 — take to social media. He tweeted out an infographic that compared his stats to that of the members of the Yankees’ rotation. The tweet contained the caption “Straight cash homie. #HMDH.” That hashtag stands for “height doesn’t measure heart,” the name of Stroman’s apparel line, and references his listed height of 5-foot-7.
Stroman’s graphic shows him with an ERA more than a run lower than the Yankees’ starters, along with lower FIP and HR/9 numbers for Stroman. While he’s pictured in a Mets uniform, Stroman used his full-season numbers in the graphic.
Does Cashman have a point?
While Stroman’s tweet may make it seem like he’s better than the Yankees’ starting pitchers, Cashman was referring specifically to October, and not all of the Yankees’ usual starting pitchers make the cut for the October rotation.
Plus, Stroman obviously hand-picked stats that show him in a favorable light. While their ERAs aren’t great, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton have had good seasons overall, with Tanaka having comparable strikeout numbers to Stroman and Paxton with nearly 30 more.
Luis Severino is the Yankees’ No. 3 starter in the postseason. He missed most of the season with an injury, but he has a 1.50 ERA in his three starts during the season, and with his track record in recent seasons, he is likely a better pitcher for the Yankees to throw out there in the playoffs. Marcus Stroman may have been able to make the cut in the ALCS, when teams are more likely to go to a four-man rotation, but that also wouldn’t be a guarantee.