Originally written on Around Citi  |  Last updated 11/19/14
What is to become of Shaun Marcum? The true question is how much of a leash do you give him?  He is likely around at this point as trade bait.  But can that be allowed to stand if he pitches poorly?  Firstly, we should ignore the win/loss record.  Anyone who listens to our corresponding show, “Around Citi Live” will know that wins are a circumstantial stat at best, and do not accurately depict a pitcher’s ability on the mound.  It is a traditional stat that should slowly be phased out.  A perfect example is Matt Harvey’s only loss this season, which came to the Cardinals earlier this month.  However, while he got the loss, he hardly gave a losing effort as he only allowed one run and struck out seven in seven innings of work.  Now, moving to more comprehensive and more contemporary metrics, one stat that we at Around Citi have come to be big fans of “FIP” or “fielding independent pitching.”  Essentially, this stat is measured on a similar scale to ERA, with anything better/lower than a 2.90 being considered excellent, and all star standards, with an average FIP holding a spot on the scale at around 4.00 (according to fangraphs).  This stat will measure how a pitcher performs based on things he can control, i.e. once a ball is hit and becomes the responsibility of the defense (assuming it’s not a home run) it is out of the control of the pitcher and therefore, it will not hinder a pitcher’s FIP.  Having had that little summer class session, let’s now apply it to Marcum.  After last night, his ERA, a traditional metric, jumped to 5.76, which is considered abysmal.  I won’t be nice about that one, sorry Shaun.  However, looking at his FIP, he is well above average having an FIP of 3.27.  Marcum has always been a control guy, similar to Dillon Gee.  He isn’t going to overwhelm with his fastball.  Instead he’ll locate his pitches, and make batters look like idiots will his off-speed pitches.  And he has still managed to do that.  He is walking only about 6% of batter he faces, while striking out and average of eight batters per nine innings.  Even with the lack of a league average defense behind, Marcum is still managing a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitcher) of 1.33, which is considered league average.  Based on the in depth metrics that are widely used in today’s player scouting, Marcum is still at least a back end of the rotation caliber pitcher.  However, at first glance, the two or three numbers that are presented on the little display at the start of every game do not show that.  Mets fans, take it for what it is.  Marcum is a good pitcher.  He isn’t great, but he isn’t terrible either.  With a little extra run support, and an average defense behind him, the widely accepted perception of the 2013 Shaun Marcum would be very different.  Keep in mind that in games that Marcum has started, he has had an average of 1.67 runs scored for him, while still on the mound.  In other words, if Marcum gives a “Quality Start” being at least six innings pitched, with no more than three earned runs allowed, he is still in line for a loss, almost every time.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Saints pose legitimate threat to any playoff team

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

Russell Wilson changes agents ahead of big payday

Dolphins CB: Brady needs to 'wake up' about playing into 40s

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Wes Welker once pulled funny UGG prank on Tom Brady

Wil Myers heads to Padres in 11-player, 3-team trade

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

Darrelle Revis feels sad for Rex Ryan

Five reasons why Oregon will win College Football Playoff

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason so far

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

WATCH: Brandon Jennings makes mind-boggling play

WATCH: Drake intros Raptors on 'Drake Night'

Brian Billick owns Browns fan over Johnny Manziel criticism

WATCH: Did Flyers' Giroux wipe boogers on linesman’s back?

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

Five NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.