Posted by: Peter Houston | January 18, 2010

Jays lock up #1 starter

The Blue Jays agreed to a one year, $850,000 deal with Shaun Marcum today, avoiding arbitration. Marcum is likely going to be the Jays’ opening day starter in 2010, and could easily be the lowest paid #1 starter in the league. He will be pitching for the first time since his 2008 breakout campaign was cut short when he underwent Tommy John surgery.

In the first half of the 2008 season, Marcum was nothing short of spectacular. Before he went to the DL in mid-June, he posted a 2.65 ERA. However, once he returned, he wasn’t quite the same. With his injury lingering, his ERA grew to 3.39. He wasn’t terrible during that stretch, but he obviously wasn’t the same pitcher he was at the start of the year.

Here’s hoping that he can recreate the magic of 2008. Coming off Tommy John surgery doesn’t usually create a lot of optimism, but it’s not a reason to write him off either. What makes me confident about Marcum is that he spent two years in the Majors before he broke out. I’m always skeptical when rookie pitchers are successful, because usually opposing teams don’t have a good scouting report on them. Once they figure them out, cue the sophomore slump. But not Marcum, he showed steady progress through his 3 big league seasons. He might not be ace material, but that’s what Kyle Drabek’s for anyway.


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