Saturday, September 20, 2008
Marcum joins the Breakfast Club
And now, Shaun Marcum joins the list of talented young Blue Jay pitchers to have a season wiped out by major arm problems. Nice little run of luck there, huh? You know, we're not talking about a group of roster filler, AAAA-type pitchers here, either. These were (are) all players who showed they were (again, are) capable of being big pieces of this "new Jays" team that was poised to take a run at the top of the division.
All Casey Janssen did in 2007 was post a tidy 2.35 ERA in 70 relief appearances, serving as arguably the team's most reliable set-up man. Jeremy Accardo? Stepped in and saved 30 games for the injured BJ Ryan (another TJ survivor). Dustin McGowan? Started fulfilling his promise as a top-of-the-rotation future staff ace - a guy touted as a Cy Young dark horse by the likes of ESPN's Buster Olney, who just might know a thing or two about baseball. Shaun Marcum? Well, I'd argue this is the biggest blow of the bunch.
This one hurts.
See, starting pitching is a hot commodity in MLB, in case you haven't noticed. Young, cheap, talented starting pitching? Forget it. Losing McGowan mid-season was tough, but we knew he'd be back in the spring (or close to it), and the Jays would just have to rely on one of the other arms in the system (as it turned out, Dr. Purcey and Mr. Hyde) to close out the year, and with AJ Burnett surely leaving (or is he?.....), maybe serve as the fifth man heading into next. Now, the Blue Jays have to add two unproven arms to the equation (failing any significant free agency moves, as JP is hinting will be the case), as Marcum won't even be back throwing until 2010 - and probably not back to being fully effective until 2011.
You may have seen me say this in the comments section, but......fuck.
Oh, and can we put to bed the notion that Marcum had become a bit of a prima donna around the clubhouse? Watch the end of the clip attached here, and tell me if it doesn't get a little dusty for you. Christ, I bet Doc even welled up before telling his tear ducts to fuck off.
Let's hope AJ gave Marcum one of his patented hugs. Huggy Bear Burnett, I've been calling him. Has anyone else been noticing this all season?
Don't worry Shaun....we won't forget about you.
(see how I tied it all together there?)