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Monday March 22, 2010 11:28 pm

Marcum tasked with replacing Halladay




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB,

Shaun MarcumIt was the audition that was Shaun Marcum’s to lose. Toronto’s new No. 1 pitcher is far from an ace, but to ask him to fill the shoes vacated by former Jays star Roy Halladay is asking far too much. Marcum came into training camp expected to be at the top of Toronto’s rotation, and so far he’s not disappointed the masses with his solid outings, and has been rewarded with the first Opening Day assignment of his career.

Marcum missed the 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008. He spent his time recovering and then preparing to come back healthier and stronger. Now that time has come, and Marcum is right on pace with where he wants to be. He has yet to spend a full season in the big leagues, but in four seasons has compiled a 24-17 record with a 3.95 ERA. His numbers have improved each season, but he has a lot to prove after coming back from surgery.

Toronto’s revolving door rotation looks to be almost completely different from that of two years ago, where Marcum is the only one left; and his absence in 2009 was very impactful. The Opening Day job was between him and Ricky Romero, a 13-win rookie from last season who is showing extremely good stuff, but head coach Cito Gaston says that Marcum’s history has earned him the No. 1 starter role for the Jays, becoming just the second pitcher to do so for the club since 2003.

Marcum has worked a Blue Jays home opener, but this year he gets the promotion. It’s a task he hopes he’s up to. With the exception of projected fifth starter Brian Tallet, Marcum is the most experienced pitcher in the Blue Jays current rotation.  He’ll have a lot to live up to, as Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who holds the Jays record for most Opening Day starts, has a 3-3 record with a no decision. On April 5 in Texas, Marcum looks to start his own streak in a Jays uniform.

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