HOUSTON -- Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum threw 28 of his 36 pitches for strikes in a three-inning start for Class A Wisconsin on Friday, the start of a rehabilitation assignment that could be very brief. Marcum, on the disabled list since mid-May with tightness in his elbow, is scheduled to pitch again for the Timber Rattlers on Wednesday. If that goes well, he could return to the Brewers' rotation for their Aug. 20-22 series against the Cubs at Miller Park. "It's all going to depend on pitch count," Marcum told reporters before Friday's game. "If I can get up to 65-70 pitches by the end of the second start, hopefully that will be enough for rehab starts and I can get back to Milwaukee."
Pitching in Appleton, Wis. against Cedar Rapids on Friday, Marcum allowed one hit -- a solo home run -- in three otherwise clean innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. He was ticketed for 35-40 pitches. If Marcum can get back to the big leagues for that Cubs series, he would be in line for about eight starts before the end of the season. He is then a free agent. "Free agency hasn't really crept into my mind too much," Marcum said. "Obviously, with the injury, going into free agency you want to be healthy. When teams come calling, you [prefer] there's no questions. It's part of it. Somebody will be out there, that hopefully I can sign on with. We'll see what happens. The main thing for me is, I have to stay healthy and pitching."