Cleveland Indians: Shaun Marcum Will Report to Triple-A Columbus

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Marcum accepts Triple-A assignment in part as appreciation to the Indians

The Cleveland Indians caught a “break” when Shaun Marcum informed them he would report to Triple-A Columbus. After having thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, the Indians stuck with him all last year–even though he missed the entire season. After returning to have a solid spring, after being told he wouldn’t make the 25-man, he could have left for a better opportunity elsewhere.

Sometimes baseball isn’t always business.

Marcum’s story is a common one for pitchers. Previously a solid middle-to-back end rotation guy, the train came off the tracks for him in 2013, when he went 1-10 with the New York Mets, posting a 5.29 ERA. It was by far his worst season, and eventually led to the diagnosis of the thoracic outlet syndrome.

After being signed to a minor league deal by the Tribe last season, he made only nine appearances in the Indians’ minor league system, but they never considered releasing him. They stuck with him till the very end.

They signed him to a similar deal to start this season, and Marcum showed great improvement–pitching seven innings, posting a 1.29 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. Not a huge sample, but encouraging for what he had been through the past two seasons.

He was a long-shot to make the Indians’ rotation, with solid young arms, then the acquisition of Gavin Floyd seemed to make it more unlikely. But Floyd is likely lost for the year, and Danny Salazar failed to grab a rotation spot that many expected he would. But even with those two setbacks, the Indians informed Marcum he wouldn’t be making the Opening Day roster. He was welcome to stay in camp and continue working out while he contemplated his options.

Taking the assignment in Columbus wasn’t a given. With his past success, and his spring numbers–there was likely a team that would have a spot on the 25-man roster for him. But Marcum has made note often about his appreciation of the Tribe for sticking with him and the work they’ve done with him.

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Now that could very well pay off for the Tribe ten-fold. With such a young staff, and so many unknowns–there’s a good chance Marcum will find his way to Cleveland at some point this season. Either as a swingman, possibly (but hopefully not) due to an injury to another starter or even as a spot starter in a doubleheader.

Yes, baseball is a business. But there is “family” within business sometime.

Next: McCallister to start fourth game for good reason

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