With Marcum finally pitching, Brewers starters looking sharp

Mar. 26, 2012
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Heading into the start of play today, the Brewers projected five starting pitchers - Zach Greinke, Yovanni Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Chris Narveson and Randy Wolf - had a combined Spring Training ERA of 2.43.

Not bad, folks, not bad.

Marcum, who had been benched until yesterday with shoulder issues/soreness, made his debut yesterday, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out three over three innings. His pitch count was limited to about 40.

I do worry that we'll hear an inevitable story today or tomorrow about Marcum's shoulder feeling sore, that outing has to give Brewers fans a ray of hope.

When talking about the shoulder soreness thus far, the media has been quick to point out that Marcum had a similar situation during last year's ST and came out throwing lights out in April and May.

Of course, they fail to mention that his arm was basically jelly by October and he failed to provide even a modicum of help on the mound while the Brewers tried to advance in the post-season.

The re-occurrence of shoulder soreness for Marcum has to be worrying, though both he and manager Ron Roenicke are downplaying the whole thing. Then again, Roenicke is the one that trotted Marcum out in the NLCS after a less than stellar NLDS outing when it seemed pretty clear he was gassed. So I feel like we can't take Roenicke's word on these matters.

The thing is, we won't know til September whether this is an ongoing thing with Marcum. Thankfully, it was reported this week that the Brewers are not in talks with Marcum to extend his contract, which expires after this season.

That's in contrast to the nearly daily stories about the team's quest to sign Zach Greinke.

Fans should be happy to see that the front office is making the right overtures, here.

Who knows if it will last - they always say ST is a poor indicator of future performance of a player - but this is by far the most confident I've been in Brewers pitching in my short time as a fan. It sounds like Greinke is already in a groove and totally comfortable with the changes he's making, adding a cutter to his already impressive arsenal.

All signs point to this being another stellar, Cy Young-esque season for Greinke. If that's the case, it seems unlikely the Brewers could (or should) spend the kind of money he'll demand.


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