Weekly Wroundtable: Debating Shaun Marcum’s Future As the Cleveland Indians’ Fifth Starter

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Jul 1, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Shaun Marcum (38) pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Indians Will Upgrade from Marcum In July

Brian Brochetti: I think Marcum will be a rotation fixture until July. If the Indians are in contention in July, and assuming Marcum is not lighting the world on fire, I can fully see the Tribe trying to scoop up a veteran starter with a bit more success on the season and designating Marcum for assignment. If the Tribe is out of contention, I believe Marcum will have played well enough to get a sniff from a contender for bullpen help or long relief down the stretch, and then he is a trade chip, for at least cash or a player to be named later. Now, this theory falls apart if Marcum falls apart, but based on his first start and some of the most recent successes with veteran retreads (i.e., Kazmir), I believe Marcum will do what he needs to do to stay in the rotation until July.

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Andrew Schmid: It’s pretty difficult to judge how Marcum will perform in the starting rotation right now, as his results so far have been pretty terrible. He has managed to strikeout a lot of batters, but he has also walked a lot of batters. While his strikeout and walk numbers will probably regress more towards his career average, his home run to fly ball ratio is astronomically high. One of the nice things about xFIP is that it normalizes this ratio, and it suggests that a 3.80 ERA is more accurate than his current ERA of 6.28. All this said, I’d image that he will be replaced or gone by late July, as his fastball averages only 85.5 miles per hour, and he has never really been a great pitcher. Maybe the Indians will be in contention and upgrade, or they could very well just unload him and evaluate House more before entering the off-season.

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And last but not least…

Next: Marcum's Rotation Spot is His To Lose