Does Mike Fiers make Shaun Marcum expendable?
This is something that Brewers management needs to be asking themselves right now. And if you are asking me? The answer to that question is YES! And this article will have many opinions and Lou oriented hearsay…no one will blame you if you turn back now.
After what we saw yesterday, Mike Fiers talent can not be denied. The kid has no fear. To no-hit the Reds through 6 complete innings is nothing to turn your nose up at. Shaun Marcum has not pitched for almost 2 months and has never really “wowed” me. Mike Fiers “wowed” me yesterday. So that makes it a quick 1 to nothing.
Marcum will be a free agent at seasons end. This is a fact. He will probably fetch upwards of $10-$12 million a season, from a team looking to over spend on a middle of the rotation starter. My thoughts are still along the lines of…the Brewers will throw everything they can at Zack Greinke to get him to come back. It would be one of the biggest coups in baseball if we snag Zack back. That would leave Shaun playing second fiddle, which will piss him off, which will give him road rage, which will cause him to drive his car into Miller Park, which will cause him to burn it to the ground, which will cause him to sign with the Cubs, because he is the type of guy a team like that will spend money on…and jerks play for the Cubs. I’m not saying Marcum is a jerk, but if he drove his car into Miller Park and burned it to the ground, he would clearly be a baby bear loving jerk.
Mike Fiers will cost us almost nothing (for a few years anyway) and he has shown me enough for me to believe that he can be a dominant pitcher in this league. After his first few starts, I was very skeptical of the kid. There was no doubt that he could pitch at the major league level, but I was concerned about his delivery and stamina. There was something so herky-jerky about his delivery. Plus he has kind of a small frame, so I thought maybe he would be better suited for long relief. I no longer believe any of those things, it was a phase, like POGS or Tamagatchi.
In 12 major league starts, the kid is 6-4 with a 1.80. This is something we all know by now. It has been all over the news. Have you not seen it? Well…it’s true, so accept it.
Fiers has thrown 80 innings already this season and strikes out 1 batter per inning. That is not just a rookie getting lucky. Mike’s delivery is very deceiving and a little bit jerky, I want to compare it to Tim Lincecum…but Fiers looks much more graceful. I think that a large part of his success comes from his ability to hide the baseball prior to delivery. As he rears back, the ball drops almost behind his thigh and then he brings it down, over the top of his body arch. This delivery makes his off-speed stuff crippling to batters. Yesterday he got Brandon Phillips to drop to one knee after a swing and miss. Whatever Fiers is doing, it works and we should continue to encourage it.
Now, why does Fiers make Marcum expendable? Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf, Chris Narveson, and Marco Estrada. That’s how.
In my opinion, Mike Fiers is a solid #2 starter going into next season. He is a perfect compliment to Yo and a wonderful lead in for Wolf. Should we not get Greinke or Marcum back, I feel very confident in the rotation referenced above. Let’s not forget that we still have some absolute flame throwing studs in the minors. They will not be held down for much longer.
Mike Fiers is a cheaper, younger, more marketable option. Oh, I’m sorry…did I hurt your feelings by reminding you that baseball is a business? Mike Fiers is a marketing gold mine! His name alone will spurn all kinds of amazing t-shirts and signs. “We Didn’t Start the Fiers” “Fiers Down Below” “Then you add in that amazingly well crafted facial hair?!?!? This guy is everything a front office could possibly want. Shaun Marcum is kind of bland…he probably fit in better in Canada.
Look, I like Shaun Marcum. He is not a bad pitcher, but I would rather we save the money and spend it elsewhere. By comparison, Marcum only threw 82.1 innings before getting injured. His stats were as follows: 5-3 record, 3.39 ERA, 31 ER (Fiers has 16), 10 HR’s, 26 walks, and 77 strikeouts. In my mind it is a bit of a wash right now, but it is certainly not worth dropping a lot of coin to keep Marcum around.
Mike Fiers has made me feel very good about the future of this team, although his offense leaves something to be desired. This team could still contend for the NL Central next season. I honestly and truly believe that. If Doug Melvin guts the bullpen, figures out what to do with Mat Gamel (Corey Hart should be our 1st baseman, end of discussion), and can get Rickie Weeks to not suck …we might really have something to cheer for in 2013. Unfortunately, this season is lost. That does not mean we can not watch some of the young kids play and see what the future holds.
On an unrelated note, Jean Segura is awesome. I am a fan. His future is so bright….he will have to wear shades.