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

Marcum’s Rotation Spot is His To Lose

Katrina Putnam: I think we’ll be seeing Marcum until he forces himself out. If he has many starts like Monday, he’ll be gone nearly as quickly as Bruce Chen was. But if he can hold his own and put up some solid numbers throughout June, I think the Tribe will stick with him. House is in Columbus because he cost himself the spot. Similarly, Chen lost the fifth starter’s job with his poor performance. As long as Marcum continues to pitch like he did in his first two outings (with some minor regression to the mean, obviously), he’ll be able to hang on to the job. Right now, no one in Columbus is beating down the door. It’s not like the shortstop situation, where there is a nearly-ready prospect to replace a struggling major leaguer. House would have to do something phenomenal to force Marcum out, even once he’s back to throwing strikes and pitching like himself. Since House is not exactly known for flashy stuff, it seems much more likely that Marcum will be in charge of his own fate. The question is, can he do it? That’s not easy to answer in two starts, but the Tribe should definitely give him three more to find out if he’s ready for the big leagues again.

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Will Marcum make it through the season as the fifth starter? While no one knows exactly how well he’ll pitch, it’s certainly a possibility. And if not, hopefully whoever they replace him with will be the starter the Tribe needs.