Mets’ Marcus Stroman puts together strong start vs. Cardinals

Marcus Stroman
New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Marcus Stroman put together his best start of spring training so far on Wednesday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets’ expected No. 3 starter went three innings while allowing no runs on one hit with four strikeouts.

While his velocity topped out near his average of 93 miles per hour, the 28-year-old did experiment with some timing variations on his delivery. On the kick up, Stroman paused in an attempt to mess up the hitter’s internal clock.

Stroman is preparing for a 2020 season in which he has plenty of pressure heaped upon his arm.

He struggled at times during his debut stretch with the Mets after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays just before the trade deadline.

During the first half of the season with the Blue Jays — the team he spent the first five-plus years of his career with — the righty posted a 2.96 ERA with 99 strikeouts and a 1.227 WHIP in 124.2 innings of work despite a 6-11 record.

While his record improved with the Mets — going 4-2 in 11 starts — Stroman’s ERA was 3.77 in the National League while his WHIP swelled to 1.475.

His strikeout rate did experience a considerable bump in New York with 60 punchouts in 59.2 innings.

If Stroman — who is in a contract year — can repeat his first half of 2019 this season, the Mets’ top trio of starters becomes that much more imposing.

Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in baseball having won two-straight National League Cy Young Awards, providing the Mets’ rotation with a solid foundation.

The book is still out on Noah Syndergaard’s ability to attain consistent success at the major-league level.

While the fireballing right-hander has the intangibles to dominate — which he did at times earlier in his career — Syndergaard has had difficulties evolving into a complete pitcher.

Lofty expectations, but the Mets could very well have one of the best trios of starters in the league if all goes well in 2020.