‘If I get an idea … I put it right into motion’

MIAMI – Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman released the cover of his first book, loosely based on his childhood and written for 8- to 12-year olds, on Twitter Friday.

Stroman’s interests outside of baseball are wide-ranging, from podcasting to wine. He’s started two clothing brands – the second, SHUGO, is set for a November release. This three-part series, published by Simon & Schuster, is his latest venture.

“If I get an idea and I want to do something, I do it,” Stroman said in a conversation with the Sun-Times. “I don’t wait. I put it right into motion. I have an awesome team around me, of people that help bring all of my ideas into fruition. … I’ve been very involved, which has been awesome. So, I’m excited to see the reaction once it’s out”.

The first book of the series, entitled “The Grip,” is already available to pre-order and set to go on sale Jan. 31, 2023.

“It’s loosely based around my upbringing as a kid,” Stroman said. “Young minority kid coming up, divorced parents, playing sports, going through school dealing with everything that young kids are gonna be dealing with: from bullies, to juggling schoolwork and homework, to living at your mom’s house then going to your dad’s house being in a divorced household. So I’m excited. I’m excited. Because it’s truly geared towards mental adversity and mental health as well.”

When asked to imagine his infant son someday picking up his dad’s book to read, Stroman took a moment to think of what he’d want Kai to take away from it.

“Just to always be himself, to chase his dreams passionately, to never let anybody get in the way of his dreams,” Stroman said. “I feel like a lot of the time in this world, especially with social media, there’s so many people who work against you – or there’s so many ways that you can give in to people and not allow yourself to truly chase what you want to do in life. So, I think it’s extremely important to keep a small group of people who love you and who are going to support you.”

Stroman said the next two books in the series will also be semi-autobiographical, and while he has a few ideas, their exact subject matter has yet to be decided.

A couple months before “The Grip” comes out, Stroman has a different launch party planned. Pre-orders for SHUGO ZERO cleats and trainers, in three different colorways, went live on shug0.com earlier this week. Stroman said he’s targeting the first or second week of November for the launch party.

Injury updates

Cubs lefty Brandon Hughes, who rolled his ankle on the mound Thursday, was still a little sore the next day, manager David Ross said.

“He said, ‘I’ll tape it up and be ready to go,’” Ross said. “So, we’ll see. That’s a good mentality for him to have.”

Catcher Willson Contreras (sprained left ankle) went through a full slate of baseball activities on Friday, according to the team. That included on-field batting practice and running the bases. The Cubs have not yet revealed a timeline for his return.

Cubs lefty Drew Smyly played light catch Friday. The Cubs skipped his last start due to his fatigued left shoulder.

Southpaw Justin Steele (strained low back) threw a “touch and feel” bullen Wednesday and is scheduled for another bullpen in the next couple days.

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