Gibbons: Stroman isn't the same guy if he's not somewhat emotional

by
Jim Young / USA TODAY Sports

John Gibbons knows what to expect from Marcus Stroman when he steps on the mound, and he doesn't foresee that changing.

The Toronto Blue Jays starter drew the ire of the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday when he exchanged words with shortstop Tim Anderson on the way back to the dugout after a cagey at-bat, leading to both teams momentarily clearing the benches.

Following the contest, Stroman told reporters he didn't understand Anderson "running his mouth" back to the dugout and only trailed him to find out why. That thorough investigative approach is Gibbons' only concern with the 25-year-old, but he doesn't have a problem with Stroman's unique flair, which he feels is just part of the package.

"My only issue is don't leave the mound. Don't head to the (opposing team's) dugout because nothing good can happen from that," Gibbons said Friday on Sportsnet Today, according to Sportsnet's Mike Johnson. "You could have a big brawl start, next thing you know the league's involved but for as long as baseball's been around there's always been interactions between hitters and pitchers and a lot of times things are said. ... The game's really a show now just like any other sport and he gets caught up in that and people love it.

"To be honest with you, I don't think he's the same guy if he's not somewhat emotional anyways. I think that really drives him."

The incident with Anderson did draw Stroman criticism, including from Sportsnet broadcaster Buck Martinez, who was caught on a hot mic questioning the pitcher's antics during the game.

Judging by his performance on the mound this season, it's a safe bet not to expect any drastic changes by the Blue Jays hurler. Stroman's 3.19 ERA currently ranks 10th among all qualified MLB pitchers, while his 2.4 WAR has him tied for 16th with new Los Angeles Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, according to Fangraphs.