Marcus Stroman ‘beyond excited’ for first Bronx start as a Yankee

The day after signing with the Yankees in January, Marcus Stroman was already getting the chills thinking about his first start in pinstripes at Yankee Stadium.

Less than three months later, it has arrived, and Friday is not just the Long Island native’s first start in The Bronx as a Yankee, it is also the home opener in what promises to be a lively atmosphere.

“Dream come true,” Stroman said Wednesday before the Yankees finished off a 6-1 road trip to open the season.

Stroman will start for the Yankees at their Bronx Opening Day on Friday.
Stroman will start for the Yankees at their Bronx Opening Day on Friday. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“Definitely beyond excited to pitch in front of my family, my few family and friends I have there. To grow up in New York watching the Yankees, to be able to pitch a home opener in my career, I’m just very thankful. I’m grateful. It’s a moment that I’ll never forget.”

Manager Aaron Boone said on numerous occasions this spring that it was obvious — even before Stroman inked a two-year, $37 million deal — this is where the 32-year-old right-hander wanted to be.

The Yankees liked that Stroman was someone who craved the big stage and bright lights. As much as a pitcher can in the early days of April, Stroman will get a prime opportunity to do that on Friday and he is not shying away from it.

“I’ve always been someone who has performed in [big] moments,” Stroman said.

“I’ve always been someone who has wanted the ball. I think a lot of individuals don’t want the ball. I think a lot of individuals don’t want to be in the spotlight and want to avoid it. I’ve never been that. I work extremely hard, so at the end of the day, you want to be in pressure-filled moments.”

There was some hullabaloo about Stroman agreeing with the Yankees’ preference to not alter his late-spring schedule just so he could start on Opening Day once Gerrit Cole went down with an elbow injury.

But Boone also liked that Stroman pitching the third game of the season meant he would be in line to start the home opener against the Blue Jays, his former team.

“It’ll be cool,” Boone said. “I know he’s fired up for it. I know it’s something he’s looked forward to ever since he signed with us and probably going back many, many years before that. Stro’s been awesome. He’s been awesome in our room and excited to see him take the ball in The Bronx on Opening Day.”

The Yankees just finished a 6-1 roadtrip to start off the season.
The Yankees just finished a 6-1 road trip to start off the season. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

In the Yankees first turn through the rotation without Cole, Stroman turned in the best start.

He tossed six innings against the Astros and gave up three unearned runs in a 5-3 win.

On the days he hasn’t started, he has usually been a few steps outside the dugout — often decked out in a vintage Yankees T-shirt — to greet that day’s starting pitcher when they come out of the game.

On Friday, it will be his turn again.

He has narrowed his inner circle over the years, so his ticket requests for the game are not as crazy as they once were.

His immediate family and friends will be there, though, as part of the crowd he is ready to feed off of.

“I’m someone who really tries to take in the energy of the stadium and people,” Stroman said. “I never try to let a moment go by, which it’s easy to kind of let a moment go by in this game. But those moments, to go out there 40 minutes before the game and feel the crowd, feel the energy, it’s going to be pretty surreal for me. It’ll be a moment that I think I’ll remember forever.”


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