Milwaukee will stick with Marcum in rotation

Milwaukee will stick with Marcum in rotation

Milwaukee will stick with Marcum in rotation
MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Shaun Marcum, struggling in September for the second straight season, will remain in the rotation, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday.

"As far as I'm concerned right now, yes," Roenicke said. "We haven't even talked otherwise."

Marcum has pitched into the sixth inning once in five starts since he returned from a two-month stint on the disabled list with elbow and shoulder discomfort. He cited circumstances in explaining Friday's four-inning stint; the Mets scored their three fourth-inning runs on a squeeze bunt and two well-placed run-scoring hits that just eluded Brewers defenders, and the club removed Marcum in favor of a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning and were rewarded with five runs and the lead.

"I feel great," Marcum said after the team's 9-6 win. "Today was probably the best I've felt [since] prior to the injury. The ball was coming out really well today."

But Marcum is 0-1 with a 5.70 ERA and a .323 opponents' batting average since coming off the DL. Roenicke noted a drop in velocity over the first four starts, though he was encouraged by an uptick on Saturday.

Marcum's pace has also been uncharacteristically slow, Roenicke said, leading the manager to believe, "There's a lot of thinking going on."

"He's not pitching like we hoped he would, like he hoped he would," Roenicke said. "I know what he's like when he's right. The encouraging thing yesterday -- his velocity was back. I was hoping that that, along with command, that he would get by and give us those innings he usually does. And his command wasn't good."

Last year, after opening September with a seven-inning gem against the Astros, Marcum went 1-3 with a 6.66 ERA in his final four regular season starts, then went 0-3 with a 14.90 ERA in three postseason games.

Asked whether Marcum's elbow was OK, Roenicke said, "I don't know if it's elbow or shoulder, but as far as I know, he's fine."

The Brewers also have no plans to remove rookie right-hander Mike Fiers, Roenicke said. Club officials have been monitoring Fiers' innings.