"But, like I told Terry, I'm not going to pull myself out of the game...I'm going to continue to pitch and pitch as long as I can." Statements like that from Shaun Marcum are exactly the type of statements that support my claim. I know that Marcum is a competitor and is willing to pitch with whatever type of ailment it takes to stay on the mound, but there comes a time when the odds are just stacked too formidably against you. He has faced back, neck, and shoulder injuries all within the confines of this season alone, and that's not even referencing his past injuries. If his pitching is being so negatively affected by his injuries, he should have the decency to take himself out and find a way to get right.
His performance has been a mess to put things lightly. Only two qualifying starting pitchers (Marcum misses the cut off by less than eight innings) have higher ERAs than Shaun Marcum. He has not shown the ability to maintain his velocity over the span of six innings, which even Chris Young could do as his career with the Mets was ending. He doesn't strand or strike out batters enough to be successful with a 1.35 WHIP. Perhaps on a team with better overall defense he may be able to out-pitch his peripherals, but it just isn't working given the Mets "middle-of-the-pack" defense. Dillon Gee has a 1.43 WHIP, but by all accounts has been on a very good run of pitching because he has better strike out numbers and buckles down when runners get on. Marcum has only logged a GameScore (a measure of a starting pitchers overall value during a start) above 70 twice this season and has only logged four quality starts out of twelve. He did have that gritty eight inning relief appearance where he only surrendered one run, but the overall body of work is subpar.
Maybe if Marcum got truly healthy again, he could be the above average major league pitcher he was as a Blue Jay and a Brewer, but he just isn't that pitcher right now. He could perhaps take a page from the Oliver Perez playbook and find a way to reinvent himself. Olly, who's striking out almost 12 batters per nine innings, also sports an ERA of 1.39, which if he was closing games would have probably made him an allstar at Citi Field this year. I'm not claiming that Olly was injured (although he very well may have been given that he throws 10 MPH faster than he did at the end of his Met tenure), but he did need to find a way to get right.
At this point, it may make sense to keep running Marcum out there because there aren't any viable alternatives, but if Jon Niese gets cleared to return, I suspect (and hope) that Shaun Marcum's days as a Met will be numbered.