Marcum sizzles in fourth spring start

Marcum sizzles in fourth spring start

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hiding pitchers has become an annual part of Spring Training, and the Blue Jays continued the trend on Wednesday, electing to have Shaun Marcum throw in a Minor League game instead of against the rival Red Sox.

While Toronto took on Boston at City of Palms Park, Marcum toed the rubber at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., for an outing against Triple-A Durham. In five innings, the 26-year-old right-hander allowed no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts, finishing his fourth start of the spring in 71 pitches.

The Blue Jays hid Marcum, who is the projected No. 4 starter for Toronto, because he's the probable pitcher for the club's home opener against the Red Sox on April 4. Since Boston's hitters would've had at least two at-bats each against Marcum, Toronto pitching coach Brad Arnsberg preferred to have Marcum get his work in elsewhere.

The same will hold true for two more Toronto starters this week. On Saturday, Jays ace Roy Halladay will pitch in a Minor League game instead of facing the Yankees, who he'll face on Opening Day on March 31. Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan, who is slated to take on the Yankees on April 3, will forgo a start against New York on Saturday in favor of pitching in a Minors game as well.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.