It’s time for the New York Mets to cut their losses and remove Shaun Marcum from their starting rotation. With top prospect Zack Wheeler making his MLB debut Tuesday night, the Mets will need to remove someone from their starting rotation to make room for Wheeler. It’s been assumed that because Marcum is making $4 million this season that he will stay and either Dillon Gee or Jeremy Hefner will move to the bullpen. However, given Marcum’s performance, he should be the one to go.
In 11 appearances, Marcum has no wins and nine losses, and his ERA is 5.76. Marcum has been unable to shake off the struggles he had early in the season while both Gee and Hefner have pitched great throughout the month of June. Right now, Marcum is the only pitcher in the Mets rotation that isn’t giving his team a chance to win every time out, and the Mets simply don’t have a good enough offense to win if their starting pitcher doesn’t have a good game.
Marcum’s $4 million salary may look like a reason to keep him, but it may actually be a reason to get rid of him. The Mets are on the hook for $4 million no matter what happens, but if Marcum continues to pitch, he has incentives based on innings pitched that could raise that salary even more. There’s no reason for the Mets to continue to pay Marcum more than his base salary if he’s going to continue to struggle and be the weakest part of their starting rotation.
Marcum has actually been at his best this season in two relief appearances, which may be the best move to make, as it will limit his innings and prevent his incentives from kicking in, while also putting Marcum in a better position to succeed. But whether the Mets choose to move him to the bullpen or simply release Marcum altogether, it should be obvious that he needs to leave the starting rotation.