Shaun Marcum scratched from simulated game, won’t make scheduled debut on Sunday

4 Comments

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Mets right-hander Shaun Marcum was unable to throw a scheduled simulated game on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Florida because of lingering pain in his neck. Which means that he won’t be able to make his scheduled regular-season debut on Sunday vs. the Marlins. Aaron Laffey is expected to fill in.

Marcum was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with right biceps tendinitis. He also got a cortisone shot in his right shoulder last week. This ongoing neck issue is presumably related to both.

Marcum signed a one-year, $4 million free agent contract with the Mets this winter after registering a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 109/41 K/BB ratio across 124 innings (21 starts) last season for the Brewers. It’s not known when he might debut.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
Getty Images
6 Comments

Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.