Results tagged ‘ Shaun Marcum ’

Shoulder tightness for Marcum

Right-hander Shaun Marcum exited his outstanding start against the White Sox on Thursday with a tight shoulder, an issue that would be considered minor if so many of his teammates were not dealing with their own medical matters. 

“It’s frustrating. We’ve got two weeks left [until Opening Day] and it seems like everybody is going down,” he said. “I want to be one of the guys who stays healthy and is able to play when it’s my time. 
“Then again, it is Spring Training. I’d rather miss two weeks of Spring Training than two months of the season. That’s the way I’m looking at it right now.”
He’s actually hoping to miss a day or two before resuming his routine, but those decisions will be made by the team’s athletic training staff. Marcum is scheduled to be the Brewers’ No. 2 starter, working April 2 against the Reds. 
Marcum has been dealing with shoulder tightness all spring, but offered this bit of perspective about his early exit: 
“If it’s regular season, especially August, September, I’m pitching through it and not saying a word,” he said. 
It has been a tough first four weeks of Spring Training for Milwaukee’s medical staff, which has treated possible Opening Day starter Zack Greinke for a cracked rib, catcher Jonathan Lucroy for a fractured finger, center fielder Carlos Gomez and reliever Manny Parra for stiff backs, right fielder Corey Hart and left fielder Ryan Braun for rib-cage strains, second baseman Rickie Weeks for a tight groin, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for a sore quadriceps, plus nursed closer John Axford back from food poisoning.
That’s not the full injury report, only the list of players who are or were expected to make the Opening Day roster. All have either exited a Cactus League game early or missed a game entirely. 
Marcum hopes his hiatus is brief, but manager Ron Roenicke is concerned, to say the least. 
“There’s definitely concern there,” Roenicke said. “Geez, we’re in a tough spot if he’s down for a while.”
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Roenicke close to setting starting rotation

Now that Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo each have two spring starts in the books, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday morning that he was close to naming his Opening Day pitching rotation. 
“We need to do it soon,” Roenicke told reporters, about 90 minutes before he was to sit with general manager Doug Melvin to discuss the plan. “We need to make decisions.”
Roenicke expected to make the plan public by Wednesday. The Brewers’ season-opener is March 31 in Cincinnati.
It’s a “tricky” call for the Brewers’ rookie manager, Greinke said last week, because the team has three pitchers who started 2010 Opening Day. Greinke handled that honor for the Royals, Gallardo for the Brewers and Shaun Marcum for the Blue Jays. 
That trio of right-handers is set for the Opening Day rotation along with two lefties, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson.
Roenicke has spoken individually to all three pitchers and said he was considering a number of factors, including the pitchers’ own opinions.
“We’re very fortunate to have three guys who can start Opening Day,” Roenicke said. “I don’t think too many organizations have that. … The question here, coming into it, was Yovani has been here for a while and he’s a No. 1. Do you go with him because he’s been here and you owe it to him? 
“Then, also, talking to the guys, I wanted to know what they were thinking. … Their response to me makes a big difference on where I want to put them, because some guys are like, ‘I don’t care. You put me where you want to put me.’ Other guys are, ‘Hey, I’m expecting to be your No. 1 guy.’ Sometimes you play to that personality.
“It’s just like anything else, you put these guys in a position where you think they’re going to succeed best. If I think Yovani is going to succeed best at No. 2 or No. 3, then that’s where I want to put him. Marcum, he’s a bulldog, probably wants to be that No. 1 guy. Personalities have a lot to do with where we end up slotting guys.”
Matchups also play a role. The Brewers play the Reds on March 31 and April 2-3, then return home for an April 4 home opener against the Braves that begins a four-game series and a seven-game homestand. 
“Obviously, you want to win that first game, you want to start your season off [well],” Roenicke said. “But you also want to do the things that set you up for the next days, too.”
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Morning Brew: Rogers, Greinke, Yount

Here’s a morning brew of notes from our session with manager Ron Roenicke:

– Zack Greinke will try again today to throw his first live batting practice session at Maryvale Baseball Park. His session scheduled for Wednesday was pushed back because of some bruised ribs, which Roenicke said was suffered “off the field.” Roenicke declined to expound. “Honestly,” Roenicke said, “It’s really not a big deal.”
– The team is backing off right-hander Mark Rogers, who shut down his own throwing session on Wednesday because of tightness in the back of his surgically-repaired shoulder. Rogers will be treated something like a rehabbing player, and will move through a throwing program before returning to the mound. 
– Catcher Jonathan Lucroy called Roenicke on Wednesday night after learning he’d need surgery for a broken pinkie finger on his throwing hand. Roenicke expects Lucroy only to miss a couple of days of camp before returning to catching bullpens, but it will be about four weeks before he’s able to hit.
– Righty Shaun Marcum will start one of the team’s split-squad Cactus League openers on Monday against the Giants and Cubs, Roenicke said. We’ll check with pitching coach Rick Kranitz to see which game Marcum will pitch — I’m guessing he’ll face the Giants — and who will start the other game. 
– Hall of Famer Robin Yount arrived in camp this morning and was in uniform for the workout. He lives in Phoenix always stops by Maryvale Baseball Park during Spring Training. Yount offered some great advice to Roenicke for dealing with the media, but it’s not fit to print in this space. 
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Marcum can earn extra $100k for innings

I noted last night that Shaun Marcum’s $3.95 million, arbitration-avoiding contract with the Brewers included performance bonuses that could push him over the $4 million midpoint of figures filed by the sides last month. I learned the details this morning.
Marcum can earn an additional $100,000 for innings pitched — including a $50,000 bonus for reaching 190 innings and another $50,000 for 200 innings. Reaching that first milestone would put him right at the midpoint, and passing it would push him over. 
Last year, Marcum pitched 195 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays. If he does that again, he’ll earn precisely the midpoint.

The deal also includes the usual array of awards bonuses for things like winning a Cy Young Award, but those performance bonuses were the key to reaching a settlement. Marcum filed for $5 million and the Brewers offered $3 million, and until Wednesday’s compromise the sides were poised to go to an arbitration hearing this afternoon in Phoenix.
The sticking point was Marcum’s $850,000 salary in 2010, his first year back from a full season lost to Tommy John elbow surgery. The Brewers argued that he was asking for too big a jump from one year to the next and pointed to the Twins’ Francisco Liriano, a pitcher in Marcum’s same four-plus service class who got a raise from $1.4 million to $4.3 million. But Marcum’s side argued that his ’10 salary was artificially low because of the elbow injury. 
In the end, both sides could point to positives. The Brewers got a settlement below the midpoint, and Marcum got a chance to pitch his way over it. He also earned the largest year-to-year raise in history for a pitcher in his second year of arbitration, according to agent Rex Gary.
I found the details of the negotiations pretty interesting. Marcum, Gary and Brewers senior director of business operations Teddy Werner were all at the Phoenix Hyatt, Gary and Marcum in a work suite rented by the Players’ Association and Werner in one next door rented by Major League Baseball. After the Angels went into a hearing with pitcher Jered Weaver, the lone remaining “four-plus” starter still unsigned, Gary and Werner stepped outside by the pool and were able to get into a “deal zone,” as baseball people like to call it. They went back inside, then negotiated again closer to dinnertime and set the incentive structure in place. 
So, Marcum was not actually standing there as Gary and Werner spoke, but he was only a few feet away, and he was prepared to sit in the hearing room Thursday if necessary. Happily for both sides, since arbitration hearings can be uncomfortable, things never got that far.
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On a side note, Gary’s group also represents two pitchers who will be interesting to follow in camp. Lefty Mitch Stetter was a mainstay of the Brewers bullpen in 2009, but he was leapfrogged by Zach Braddock in a dismal 2010, and now faces an uncertain 2011. Another client is right-hander Zack Segovia, who inked a Minor League deal with Milwaukee in November that included an invitation to big league camp. 
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Marcum signs for $3.95 million, avoids arbitration

Right-hander Shaun Marcum agreed late Wednesday to a $3.95 million contract for 2011, avoiding arbitration and ensuring that the first opponent of his Brewers tenure will be somebody other than the Brewers themselves. 
Marcum and the Brewers faced an arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon, and by Wednesday representatives from both sides had arrived in Phoenix to make final preparations. Marcum’s agent, Rex Gary, and Brewers senior director of business operations Teddy Werner met in a hotel lobby during the afternoon, then engaged in another, more intense round of negotiations in the evening and struck a deal. 
They settled just below the midpoint of proposals submitted last month, when Marcum and Gary filed for $5 million and the Brewers offered $3 million. Marcum can earn incentives for innings and awards to push his salary past the $4 million midpoint. Those incentives were the final sticking point in talks. 
In that way, Marcum’s deal is similar to the $1.25 million pact between the Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe, who settled just below the midpoint of his figures but can push over by earning $115,000 in available incentives. 
“The goal is always to avoid going to a hearing and coming to an agreement that both sides feel comfortable with,” Werner said. “Sometimes you just have to wait it out.” 
Talks with Marcum moved forward Wednesday after one of his “comps,” Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, went all the way to a hearing with the Angels. Marcum and Weaver both have four-plus years of Major League service, as does Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, who settled with Minnesota on Saturday for $4.3 million, right at the midpoint of their figures. 
“When Liriano’s deal got done, that brought a little more clarity, and then I think we were just waiting to see how Weaver’s deal played out,” Werner said. “When they went into a hearing room, there weren’t any comparables left.” 
The decision on Weaver’s case won’t be revealed until Thursday, likely after the Brewers would have gone into a hearing with Marcum.
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On eve of hearing, Marcum still unsigned

As the hours tick away, the possibility grows that the first opponent of right-hander Shaun Marcum’s Brewers career will be the Brewers themselves. 
Marcum’s agent, Rex Gary, and Brewers senior director of business operations Teddy Werner have so far been unable to reach an agreement with Brewers on a 2011 contract for his client. If the sides remain deadlocked they would face off in an arbitration hearing that’s believed to be set for Thursday in Phoenix. 
Marcum, acquired from the Blue Jays in early December, filed for $5 million as a second-time arbitration-eligible player. The Brewers offered $3 million. 
Gary traveled to Phoenix on Wednesday and did not return messages this week from MLB.com. Werner said he remained hopeful of avoiding the hearing room. 
“We’ve been working very hard in the event we’re in a position of arguing the case in front of panel of arbitrators,” Werner said. “But I have learned that in a lot of these cases you have to let the process play out. In 2008, I think we settled with J.J. Hardy only 24 hours before a hearing was scheduled. In 2009 with Corey Hart, we settled about day before. Then last year, we went to a hearing with Corey. 
“We have still not come to an agreement with Shaun, but you have to let the process play out. Every negotiation is a separate animal. Right now, we don’t have a deal, but we’re hopeful we’ll put one in place and if not, we’ll go to the hearing room.” 
Like last year’s hearing with outfielder Corey Hart, the Brewers would use outside counsel to argue their case on Thursday. A three-member panel of judges would hear arguments from both sides, then issue a ruling on Friday. They would choose one salary filing or the other, and would not be required to explain the decision. 
The first case of 2011 was decided Wednesday, when the arbitrators ruled in favor of Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. 
The 29-year-old Marcum cost the Brewers their top offensive prospect, Brett Lawrie, and will be part of a remade starting rotation that includes three 2010 Opening Day starters with Marcum, Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo. After missing all of 2009 while rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery, Marcum bounced-back to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts and 195 1/3 innings in 2010, impressive numbers in the tough American League East. He earned $850,000 last season. 
This isn’t exactly the way the Brewers wanted to begin their relationship with Marcum. But it’s just business, Werner said. 
“In a perfect world, we would have a deal with Shaun before we have to go into a hearing,” Werner said. “We’re still working on coming up with the appropriate salary for him.”
Marcum is one of two arbitration-eligible Brewers players still unsigned. The other is second baseman Rickie Weeks, who has a hearing scheduled for Feb. 17. 
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Twins, Liriano settle at midpoint

The Twins and left-hander Francisco Liriano avoided arbitration on Saturday by agreeing to terms on a $4.3 million contract for 2011, right at the midpoint of their filings. The deal could have an impact in the Brewers’ talks this week with right-hander Shaun Marcum.

“Liriano is definitely relevant to the Marcum discussions,” Brewers senior director of business operations Teddy Werner said Sunday.
But just how the Liriano settlement will impact Marcum remains to be seen as Werner continues negotiations with Marcum’s agent, Rex Gary. The sides are trying to avoid a hearing that’s believed to be scheduled for Thursday in Phoenix. 
Werner declined to talk specifically about how the Liriano case, or any other involving arbitration-eligible pitchers, could affect Marcum, but it’s easy to see the similarities. 
– Liriano, with 4 years, 104 days of Major League service and coming off a season in which he went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA in 31 starts, filed for $5 million in arbitration and the Twins offered $3.6 million. 
– Marcum, who has four years, 128 days of service and is coming off a 13-8, 3.64 ERA, 31-start season with the Blue Jays, also filed for $5 million in arbitration. The Brewers offered $3 million. 
But it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison. Liriano had a significantly higher salary in 2010 — $1.4 million to Marcum’s $850,000. Liriano also won American League Comeback Player of the Year honors and has pitched in the postseason, factors that could come into play as “special accomplishments” in the arbitration process. 
So, both sides could presumably use Liriano’s settlement as part of their argument if the case reaches a hearing room. Marcum’s side would only have to argue that he deserves a salary above the $4 million midpoint, and Liriano’s $4.3 million meets that. The Brewers, though, could point to those “special accomplishments” and the fact that Liriano started at a higher salary last season. 
Liriano would not be the only “comp” mentioned in a hearing. Marcum’s side would probably point to Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants, who earned a raise from $2.1 million to $4.8 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Sanchez was 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 starts and one relief appearance during the regular season, then made four starts in the playoffs.
And the Brewers would probably bring up a different Sanchez, Florida’s Anibal, who went from $1.25 million to $3.7 million after going 13-12 with a 3.55 ERA last season.
As usual in this process, it’s difficult to know which way the judges would rule on Marcum in a hearing. That’s why the sides are working to avoid going that far.
Werner continues to characterize his talks with Gary as “productive.” They last spoke on Friday, and will touch base again early this week in the wake of the Liriano deal.
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Quiet on Weeks, Marcum fronts

Brewers officials say they are making steady but slow progress with their two remaining arbitration-eligible players, and will get a chance to chat in person with second baseman Rickie Weeks and right-hander Shaun Marcum at Sunday’s “Brewers On Deck” event. 
Neither assistant general manager Gord Ash, who is handling talks with Weeks agent Greg Genske, nor senior director of business operations Teddy Werner, who is engaged with agent Rex Gary on Marcum, could report any breakthroughs this week. 
“We continue to have dialogue but nothing new to report,” Ash wrote in an e-mail Thursday morning, when club officials were meeting with manager Ron Roenicke and the Brewers’ new coaching staff at Miller Park. 
 
Weeks and Genske filed for $7.2 million in arbitration and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. 
Weeks earned $2.75 million in 2010 and had a breakthrough year, leading the Majors in home runs (28), RBIs (81) and runs scored (110) from the leadoff spot. But his case is complicated because many of Weeks’ previous seasons had been marred by injuries, especially to his hands and wrists. 
Marcum earned $850,000 from the Blue Jays in 2010 and also enjoyed a career year, returning from a year lost to Tommy John elbow surgery to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts. The Brewers acquired him in early December for top prospect Brett Lawrie. 
Marcum and Gary filed for $5 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $3 million. 
“I would say [talks] have been productive, and I have a very good history with Rex Gary, who also represents Dave Bush,” said Werner, referring to the former Brewers right-hander who settled with the team last winter well ahead of an arbitration hearing. “We’ve been through this process before.” 
In both cases, the Brewers’ talks could hinge on other players in Weeks’ and Marcum’s service class. 
In Weeks’ case a very close comparable is Kelly Johnson of the D-backs, a fellow second baseman with five-plus years of Major League service coming off the most productive season of his career. Johnson made $2.35 million in ’10 (to Weeks’ $2.75 million) while hitting .274 with a .370 on-base percentage, 26 homers, 71 RBIs and 13 stolen bases (to Weeks’ .269/.366/29/83/11). Johnson’s filing figures were also similar — he’s seeking $6.5 million in arbitration and Arizona offered $4.7 million. 
A settlement by either Weeks or Johnson could certainly impact the other player. 
In Marcum’s case, the sides likely have a close eye on talks between the Twins and left-hander Francisco Liriano and the Angels and right-hander Jered Weaver. Like Marcum, those pitchers have between four and five years of Major League service and are seeking raises of at least $3 million. 
Liriano earned $1.6 million in 2010 and filed last week for $5 million in arbitration, while the Twins offered $3.6 million. Compare that to Marcum seeking $5 million and the Brewers’ offer of $3 million. 
Weaver has had more sustained Major League success than either Liriano or Marcum, and thus his figures are higher. He earned $4.265 million last season from the Angels and filed for $8.8 million, with the team offering $7.365 million. The Angels have begun talks with Weaver about a multi-year extension, owner Arte Moreno told reporters on Wednesday. 
A one-year settlement in Weaver’s case above or below the midpoint of filings could impact Liriano or Marcum because they’re all in the same service class. 
Werner declined to talk about other teams and their arbitration-eligible players. But based on his own talks about Marcum and his understanding of the club’s negotiations with Weeks, he characterized the progress as positive. 
“There’s been a lot of back and forth, which is good,” Werner said. 
A hearing is already scheduled for both Weeks and Marcum sometime in February, though Major League Baseball bars club officials from revealing the dates. 
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Arbitration figures with midpoints

The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra on Tuesday but were unable to strike deals with three other eligible players, pushing second baseman Rickie Weeks, starter Shaun Marcum and reliever Kameron Loe one step closer to a hearing. 
Unable to reach terms before a Tuesday afternoon deadline, each of those unsigned players exchanged 2011 contract proposals with the Brewers:
– Weeks filed for $7.2 million and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.35 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. 
– Marcum is seeking $5 million and the Brewers offered $3 million. The midpoint is $4 million.
– Loe filed for $1.65 million and the Brewers offered $1.055 million, a $595,000 gap. The midpoint is $1.3525 million.
After figures are exchanged, the next step in the arbitration process is a hearing date in February, a conclusion the Brewers hope to avoid. The sides can continue negotiating until that date, and in the vast majority of cases around baseball, they reach an agreement somewhere between the filing figures. 
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Happy Birthday, Shaun

Marcum04 copy.jpg

The newest Brewers pitcher, right-hander Shaun Marcum, spent his 29th birthday Tuesday at Miller Park, where he’ll be spending quite a bit of time over the next two years. Marcum and his wife, Stephanie, and agent Jim Turner had lunch with Brewers GM Doug Melvin but dessert came later, after Marcum met the local media. He cut the first piece of a Brewers-themed birthday cake.

Thanks to Brewers photographer Scott Paulus for the tasty-looking shot. 
For more on Marcum, check out the story over at Brewers.com. There’s also a separate story updating the team’s interest in free agents Carl Pavano and Craig Counsell and a bit about their potential interest in Phillies righty Joe Blanton.
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