Monday, March 22, 2010

Jays name Shaun Marcum opening day starter

The Blue Jays are set to usher in a new era in 2010, one that does not include former staff ace Roy Halladay. For the first time in eight years, Doc will not start opening day. Instead, that honour will is bestowed upon Shaun Marcum. Halladay established a franchise record with seven consecutive opening day starts, but his time in Toronto is now in the rear view mirror, leaving Marcum as the main man entrusted with the duties of a #1 starter.

The 28 year old has the most big league starting experience of the pitching staff, so the Jays placed the righty on a pitching schedule that would line up with starting opening day against Texas. In 64 career starts, the gritty Marcum has posted a 3.85 ERA. Two years ago he emerged as one of the A.L. East's best young hurlers, posting a dazzling 2.43 ERA over his first 14 starts.

As that season wore on, however, Marcum's unconventional throwing motion caught up him and his throwing arm wore down. He ultimately had to undergo Tommy John Surgery on his elbow, causing him to miss the entire 2009 campaign. His road to recovery is now complete, and he will be leaned upon to be a team leader in an inexperienced clubhouse.

The team has to move forward without relying upon the 2003 A.L. CY Young award winner. This isn't Doc Halladay's pitching staff anymore. It's Shaun Marcum's.

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