5 things to know about Shaun Marcum

January, 24, 2013
1/24/13
12:44
PM ET
AP Photo/Jeffrey PhelpsMets fans can get used to seeing this look from Shaun Marcum in 2013.
Notes, nuggets and numbers on new Mets acquisition, Shaun Marcum.

He’s no Chris Young ... well actually, he is
Marcum is much different in stature from the pitcher he’s likely replacing in the Mets rotation. He stands 6-feet, 195 pounds compared to the 6-10, 260 pound Chris Young.

But Marcum’s career numbers are a near match for Young. On Baseball-Reference.com, they are listed as being among each other’s most similar pitchers.

Marcum has a 3.76 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 916 2/3 career innings with the Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers. Young has a 3.79 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 890 2/3 innings with the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and Mets.

Marcum also matches Young in fastball velocity, or lack thereof. His average one comes in at 86 mph. That ranked fourth-slowest among righties who threw at least 500 heaters last season.

Lastly, like Young, Marcum comes with injury concerns. He’s had a history of elbow injuries, including one that limited him to 21 starts last season.

He wins with his pitch mix
Marcum is a four-pitch pitcher, and both cuts and sinks his fastball. He is heavily reliant on a changeup, that he throws them about 25 percent of the time. Marcum has thrown the fifth-most changeups of any pitcher in the majors over the last three seasons.

The pitch nets missed swings at about a 38 percent rate a good mark that, though not a league-leading figure, compares nicely with the nasty changeups of Felix Hernandez (38 percent) and James Shields (37 percent)

You want to give him a little extra rest when you can
The most interesting thing I could find on his Baseball-Reference splits page was how he trended when given an extra day of rest.

The chart on the right shows the difference in his performance over the last four seasons.

In each of them, he’s been better on five days' rest than four, particularly when it comes to his rate of yielding home runs.

The problem the Mets will have is they'll have two pitchers to whom they will likely want to give an extra day whenever possible (Marcum and Johan Santana). That may not always be feasible.

He fields his position well
In my time working with J.P. Ricciardi on Baseball Tonight in 2010, I can remember him predicting a Gold Glove someday for only one player -- Marcum.

Marcum has never made more than one error in a season. He had as many as four Defensive Runs Saved in 2007 and three in 2010.

Though 13 of 16 would-be basestealers were safe against him last season, that success rate was unusually high. Prior to that, Marcum had never allowed more than eight stolen bases in a season. Catchers had thrown out 40 percent of those trying to steal against him.

If the Mets make the postseason, he has something to prove
When the Brewers made the playoffs in 2011, they were counting on Marcum to be a key part of their postseason rotation. Instead, he was epically bad.

Marcum made three starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals and allowed a combined 16 runs in 9 2/3 innings. He is best remembered for tossing his glove in the air in frustration after a home run.

Marcum’s 14.90 career postseason ERA is the worst of any pitcher with at least nine innings pitched.

But as multiple people noted when I posted that stat on Twitter, dealing with that would be a great problem to have in 2013.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187