Cleveland Indians: Shaun Marcum Finally Makes His Return

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Marcum returns to mound, first time since July, 2013

The game itself might not have been pretty, and the chain of events that led to him making his way to the Cleveland Indians might not have been storybook–but just being back on the mound in a game that mattered for the first time since July 6, 2013 was everything

Shaun Marcum

could have hoped for.

While the Tribe took the loss to the unbeaten Detroit Tigers, it wasn’t simply mop-up duty for Marcum. It was the chance to prove he could get back out there and take care of business. And considering the starter T.J. House did anything but that–it was a good showing for the 33-year-old pitcher. One that could inevitably help mold his role with this year’s team.

Marcum has been a starter his entire career and had been scheduled to start on Sunday with the Columbus Clippers. So going five innings wasn’t out of the norm that would have been expected out of him in Triple-A. And although he lost a battle for a starting spot (which it seemed he was never really considered to be part of) he has continued to pitch effectively–as well as any Tribe pitcher since the spring.

House can’t be judged solely on this outing. This Tigers team is out to prove they aren’t ready to relinquish the AL Central without a fight. But I still believe that having the veteran Marcum in the rotation would benefit the team as a whole.

Prior to his thoracic out syndrome and eventual surgery, he was a consistent starter, with a 58-46 record (which includes his 1-10 debacle the season of his injury with the Mets), and a career 3.87 ERA. In comparison, this season’s “big” addition to the staff was Gavin Floyd. He’s likely to never pitch for the Indians in a regular season game, but his numbers of 72-72 and a 4.40 ERA in a similar career? No reason to discount Marcum.

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With Danny Salazar already in Triple-A to work on his issues, the possibility of having Zach McAllister or T.J. House as a swingman out of the bullpen (preferably McCallister) and inserting Marcum into the rotation, the Indians staff would gain the greatest benefit.

House, McAllister and Salazar may all end up being solid starters in the Tribe rotation. But right now, with the way Marcum is throwing the ball now that he appears healthy–I think he needs to be in there to give them a veteran in the mix.

Next: Tribe Makes Several Moves Following Gomes Injury

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