Word came down yesterday that free agent pitcher Marcus Stroman is signing with the Yankees. That has some interesting uni-numerical implications.
For the past three seasons, Stroman has worn No. 0 (“Stroman the O-man,” get it?), first for the Mets and then for the Cubs. If he goes zero-clad in the Bronx, he’ll be the third player in Yankees history to do so, following pitchers Adam Ottavino and Domingo Germán. Germán actually threw a perfect game while wearing No. 0 last season — the first perfect game or even no-hitter ever thrown by someone wearing that number — but he was later waived by the Yankees due to some behavioral issues, so No. 0 is presumably available for Stroman, should he want it.
If Stroman does go zero-clad for the Yanks, they will be the third team for which he’s worn the goose egg. That will put in him fourth place in MLB’s all-time Heroes of Zero sweepstakes, behind Al Oliver (who wore No. 0 for six teams), Junior Ortiz (four teams), and Ottavino (four teams).
In addition, Stroman becoming the third Yankee to wear No. 0 would move the Yanks up a notch on the list of teams with the most zero-clad players. The Mets are the top team in that category (five players wearing No. 0), followed by Cleveland and the Royals (four apiece). Stroman wearing No. 0 in pinstripes would move the Yanks into a tie with the Brewers, Cardinals, Rangers, and White Sox (three apiece).
It’s also worth noting that Stroman has worn three different single-digit numbers during his career. Before switching to No. 0, he wore No. 7 for the Mets and No. 6 for the Blue Jays. I’m not sure what the record is for the most single-digit numbers worn by a pitcher, but I figure Stroman has got to be in the running for that distinction. Of course, he can’t wear any single-digit number for the Yankees aside from zero, because the others are all retired.