Marcus Stroman is about to enter uncharted territory in his third big-league season.
If the former Patchogue-Medford High School star pitches into the fifth inning against the Yankees on Wednesday night, he will pass the 177-inning mark for the season.
In his first two seasons, Stroman threw 177 innings combined, including the 2015 playoffs.
But Stroman, 25, said he’s not worried one bit about the increased workload. Just the opposite. If the Blue Jays get to where they want to this season, he may still be pitching in November.
“I want to throw 250 innings,” Stroman said Tuesday before the Blue Jays lost, 7-6, to the Yankees. “I want to. My body feels great. I feel just as strong now as I’ve felt the entire year. I feel like I’ve done a really good job putting my body in position in the preseason to be able to do this. I’m at the point now where I’m happy with where I am because of how my body feels.”
Stroman missed most of last season after suffering an ACL tear in spring training during a fielding drill. The tireless worker returned Sept. 12 at Yankee Stadium and made three starts in the playoffs.
He wants another taste.
“Obviously, I was able to get back to get that playoff experience, which was huge,” Stroman said. “Just getting back and showing myself what I can do off five months with my ACL. It was kind of a whirlwind year. Even last offseason, I had to go right back into training the knee and doing everything I can to get it stronger for this year, so I didn’t have much of a break. It’s been pretty much a go-go-go year. I wouldn’t have done it any different. I feel great and just ready to rock.”
Stroman (9-6, 4.58 ERA) struggled at the start this season and had a 7.76 ERA in June. It was 3.71 in July and 3.13 in August, so he is getting better as the season goes along.
“It’s September, and it’s not like my body feels like it’s breaking down,” Stroman said. “I feel like I’m actually starting to get a few more ticks [on the fastball], like I’m starting to get stronger. I’m ready for this push. I’m hoping to get to 200-plus. That was kind of the goal coming into the year and every consecutive year after this, to go after that 200-plus innings.”
Starting in front of the hometown fans never gets old for Stroman. But he said it’ll just be family and close friends this time instead of the usual massive throng.
“Yankee Stadium, man,” he said with a smile. “Not like the first couple times when I had like 80, 100 people here. Try to keep it more low-key now.”