Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the New York Mets need to remove Shaun Marcum from their starting rotation. Outside of a couple good outings this season, Marcum has been a huge disappointment for the Mets, and has clearly been the weak link in an otherwise good rotation, which is putting the Mets in position to win games on a regular basis.
Marcum’s latest start on Saturday night against his former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, may be the last straw. Marcum labored through five plus innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits, striking out just three. He couldn’t even handle his counterpart Yovani Gallardo, who had two hits against Marcum. In his defense, Marcum has been dealing with some discomfort in his back and numbness in his fingers, but if he’s choosing to ignore those symptoms and take the mound, they should not be considered excuses for his poor performance.
The Mets may be hesitant to remove Marcum from the rotation until they know that Jon Niese will be returning from the disabled list, but until Niese comes back, Carlos Torres should be the one to replace Marcum; he’s earned it. Torres has allowed just one run in over 13 innings of work out of the bullpen since being promoted to the Mets from triple-A in June.
Before his promotion, Torres pitched back-to-back complete games for triple-A Las Vegas, allowing just one run on five hits over that span. If anybody deserves a chance to start, it’s Torres; and it anybody deserves to be kicked out of the rotation, it’s Marcum.
The Mets could move Marcum to the bullpen, where he’s pitched well this year in two appearances, which would help limit his innings and prevent his incentive-based bonuses from kicking in, saving the Mets money. However, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has not been shy this season about cutting ties with a player completely if they’re not working out. At this point, Marcum could easily qualify for that category.
No matter how they do it, the Mets need to take Marcum out of the rotation and insert Torres. They can give Marcum one more start before the All-Star break, but there’d be no point to that. There’s almost nothing Marcum can do at this point to save himself, and it’s time for the Mets to let him go.