Jordan Bastian, of BlueJays.MLB.com, reports the Toronto Blue Jays have optioned starting pitcher Shaun Marcum to Triple-A Syracuse. The team wants him to work through some ongoing control problems.
The move was made after Marcum was shelled by the Boston Red Sox Friday, Aug. 22. He allowed five earned runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings in that game. Overall this season, he has done pretty well. He is 8-6 with 3.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 22 starts. He has struck out 109 batters and walked 43 batters in 135 innings this season.
One big problem Marcum has had on the mound is the number of home runs he has given up. He has allowed 21 home runs in his 22 starts, which ties him in for sixth among American League pitchers in that category.
He has really struggled since the All-Star break, going 3-2 with a 6.19 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in seven starts. He has given up 10 of his 21 home runs in those seven starts. Also, his strikeout-to-walk ratio has not been great lately. He has struck out 23 batters and walked 16 batters in 36 1/3 innings since the break, reasons the team wanted him to work on his control down in the minors.
In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays recalled starting pitcher John Parrish from Triple-A Syracuse. He is scheduled to start Thursday, Aug. 28, and starting pitcher David Purcey will take Marcum's spot in the rotation and start Wednesday, Aug. 27.
From a fantasy perspective, Marcum has been a decent fantasy pitcher who is likely owned in many leagues. Owners in deep leagues should stash Marcum on the bench because there is a strong possibility he will return in September. However, owners in shallow leagues can drop him and look for another starter on the waiver wire if every roster spot they have is valuable; at this time of year, fantasy managers need immediate help.
Parrish and, more so, Purcey have some value in AL-only leagues, but they may only be effective as spot starters. Owners in deep mixed leagues could take a look at them, but only if there is desperation. Purcey is one of the club's top pitching prospects and is a more intriguing gamble. He's also likely to remain in the rotation for the rest of the season.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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