MILWAUKEE -- One day after making his second rehab start for Class A Wisconsin, Shaun Marcum was back in a Brewers uniform on Thursday taking batting practice at Miller Park with the rest of the starting pitchers.
Although that might seem like a surefire sign Marcum and his right elbow are due back in the rotation soon, manager Ron Roenicke said that's a decision that has yet to be made. Roenicke said the 30-year-old right-hander is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday, and that will determine whether his next start is a return to the Brewers or a third rehab appearance.
"I said, 'It's nice to have you back,'" Roenicke said after seeing Marcum at Miller Park on Thursday. "'But I think it's important for you and for us when you come back that you feel like you're going to spot every ball you want to.' So that's where the bullpen [session] comes in. Not necessarily how his arm feels. It's more on, 'OK, am I ready to do this at the big league level?'"
Marcum told Roenicke his elbow felt fine after tossing 3 2/3 innings for the Timber Rattlers on Wednesday. However, he did not feel as sharp as he'd like, especially in the fourth inning, when he allowed a double and a single to score a run. He then gave up another single and walked two batters before leaving the game with the bases loaded.
Should Marcum forgo another rehab start, he would be limited to about 75 pitches in his return to the Milwaukee rotation. Roenicke didn't confirm what the plan is when Marcum does come back, but he again mentioned the possibility of at least a temporary six-man rotation.