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Yankees’ Marcus Stroman has been key — now comes hard part

Marcus Stroman has heard this story before.

He’s seen strong performances to start the season and what they can lead to — like an All-Star Game invitation last year — and then he’s seen how quickly that progress can fade. He’s seen the peak of a pitching career. Ace It’s easy to be labeled that way. He’s also experienced the opposite, when he’s merely a replacement filling the fifth spot in the rotation. In 2024, he was unofficially tasked with preventing that last piece from shaping his current reality.

Stroman’s ERA was below 3.00 at this time last year. After pitching seven scoreless innings against the Pirates on June 20, his ERA dropped to 2.28. But that production didn’t last. His timeline after the Midsummer Classic was eight games, six starts, an 8.63 ERA, a hip injury, a fractured rib cage and plenty of questions about where his next move would be with his expiring contract.

That’s why Stroman took some risk when he signed a two-year deal with the Yankees in January with a vesting option for a third year if he pitches 140 innings in 2024.

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