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Shaun Marcum

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With the 4-6 week absence of the Blue Jays' $47MM closer, B.J. Ryan, to a sprained UCL, fellow reliever Jason Frasor has been elevated to the closer's job per every report. The roto-punditry has taken those reigns and run with it answering any queries with a voice that broaches no dissent.

Color me unconvinced. I refuse to ignore the fact that Shaun Marcum got the first save opportunity post-Ryan. I know. Frasor threw 30 pitches on Saturday, and I agree that he is likely to initially close. But what spurred on this post is not so much the definitiveness of the roto-seers in predicting the future save recipients in the Jays 'pen, but a comment Jake made in a recent diary.

In response to my suggestion that Marcum's 12Ks in 8 innings pitched this season would normally bring out a cavalcade of roto-pundits mentioning him as a closer-in-waiting, Jake replied, "I'd have Frasor any day of the week over Marcum in a high-pressure situation."

Given the fanaticism of Jake for his Devil Rays, my immediate thought was, "Oh, sh**! I just suggested one of those failed DRays bullpen arms of the past couple seasons!" This made me check Marcum's career numbers at The Baseball Cube.

After reviewing his professional stats, I am more curious about Marcum than I had been. Seems he has had very good minor league numbers, none of which were amassed in the Tampa Bay organization, when he was mainly used in relief. I've bolded those stats. I also noticed his numbers look better when he relieves than when he starts. Isn't that a classic closer-in-waiting marker?

A glance at Marcum's minor league stats say he is a sleeper power arm in the 'pen, and all fantasy baseball owners love those!

Year Team Lg Age Level W L ERA G GS GF SV IP H HR BB SO K9 WHIP
2003 Auburn NYPL 21 A- 1 0 1.32 21 0 13 8 34 15 1 7 47 12.44 0.65
2004 Charlst-wv SAL 22 A 7 4 3.19 13 13 0 0 79 64 7 16 83 9.46 1.01
2004 Dunedin FSL 22 A+ 3 2 3.12 12 12 0 0 69.1 74 6 4 72 9.35 1.13
2005 N Hampshre East 23 AA 7 1 2.53 9 9 0 0 53.1 44 5 10 40 6.75 1.01
2005 Syracuse IL 23 AAA 6 4 4.95 18 18 0 0 103.2 112 17 18 90 7.81 1.25
2006 Syracuse IL 24 AAA 4 0 3.42 18 5 0 52.2 48 6 9 60 10.25 1.08
Year Team Lg Age Level W L ERA G GS GF SV IP H HR BB SO K9 WHIP
2005 Toronto MLB 23 MLB 0 0 0.00 5 0 3 0 8 6 0 4 4 4.50 1.25
2006 Toronto MLB 24 MLB 3 4 5.06 21 14 3 0 78.1 87 14 38 65 7.47 1.60