Quick Hits: Shaun Marcum is Consistent

By Dan Haefeli

The Mets agreed to a one-year, $4-Million guaranteed contract with starting pitcher Shaun Marcum (the contract has incentive bonuses of up to an additional $4-Million). Marcum, 31, will round out a rotation featuring Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Matt Harvey (with top prospect Zack Wheeler soon to follow). On paper, this represents a pretty strong rotation (the Bill James‘ projections for the five project a total of 19.2 fWAR this year, an increase of 4.6 from 2012).

Marcum’s high home run totals each season would suggest his numbers (particularly his ERA figures) should be more volatile. Taking a look at his stats since 2008 (his first full season as a starting pitcher), it looks to the eye that his numbers have been fairly similar through those seasons. Outside Tommy John surgery cutting short his 2008 season, and elbow fatigue forcing him to the disabled list this summer, Shaun has been fairly reliable.

How reliable? Well, let’s take a look:

What we notice is that Marcum, over his past four seasons, has put up nearly identical numbers. Though the significance of standard deviation is diminished by small sample sizes, the fact that he’s remained within a standard deviation of these five different categories paints a picture of a pitcher who has remained remarkably consistent through injury, and on two different teams in two different leagues in two different countries (yes, I’m being pedantic here).

2010 stands out somewhat, as Marcum’s WAR/IP took a pretty significant spike. At a glance, it looks well-explained by his decreased walk-rate (by being more efficient, he would logically be able to pitch deeper into games, both of which would make his pitching more valuable).

An inexpensive, solid veteran who is capable of winning 10-12 games and helping to men

Sept 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum (18) throws against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sportstor the young pitchers on the Mets’ roster. Looking at the stats, it seems the Mets got exactly what they were looking for.