One Night Only: On the Marcum

Tonight happens today, on this edition of One Night Only.

Kansas City at Toronto, 1:05 pm ET
Royals: Zack Greinke (R)
17.2 IP, 7.13 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, .334 BABIP, 41.4% GB, 7.7% HR?FB, 4.78 xFIP
Projected FIP: 2.85 (FAN) 2.98 (CHONE) 2.93 (ZiPS)
L-R Splits: 0.02 run normal split in 905.2 IP

Blue Jays: Shaun Marcum (R)
20.0 IP, 7.65 K/9, 1.35 BB/9, .276 BABIP, 43.1% GB, 9.5% HR/FB, 3.33 xFIP
Projected FIP: N/A (FAN) 4.43 (CHONE) 4.47 (ZiPS)
L-R Splits: 0.45 run normal split in 416.2 IP

Making his return from Tommy John surgery, Shaun Marcum has started the season better than even the smartest person in the world (i.e. Tavis Smiley) could’ve guessed. So far on the season he’s throwing his changepiece a quarter of the time and has registered a full 33% whiff rate on the pitch. That’s what we in the industry call “off the hook.”

You know what Carson Cistulli likes? (I mean, besides the ladies?) Answer: career minor leaguers getting their first real shot at the bigs. If you haven’t already, say hello to 29-year-old Mike McCoy. Here’s an interesting thing McCoy did in 2009 at Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate: slashed .307/.405/.400. Here’s another interesting thing he did: went 40-for-46 on stolen base attempts in 132 games. Before we all go peeing each other’s pants with excitement, it’s important to note that Colorado Springs (where McCoy plied his trade last year) has a park factor of right around a million*. But his profile suggests that he won’t be the terriblest player on the block, and CHONE thinks he plays a league-average short.

*Give or take.

If you’re like me, you have amazing hair and flawless skin. You also have a notion that Edwin Encarnacion might have a decent year, if and when he recovers from his current shoulder situation. In 2009, over stints with both Cincy and Toronto, Encarnacion suffered the baleful effects of a .245 BABIP. That number stands far below the .295 mark he’d posted over his career till then. Is he still kinda a sucky defender? Almost definitely, yes. But what in the H does my fantasy team care about that?

Fred Lewis is a lightning rod for nerd controversy. He’s also a Blue Jay now, and has batted leadoff and played left field for the past three games. When the aforementioned Encarnacion returns to third, Jose Bautista will stop playing there and the outfield situation will get crowdeder. How will this drama unfold?

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Finally, somebody who isn’t dry as a cracker.