Shaun Marcum was one of several young Blue Jays pitchers to make his mark in 2007. Marcum, who pitched at Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State), went 12-6 in 38 games, including 25 starts. In August, the right-hander went 5-1 with two wins over the AL West champion Angels. Marcum took time to answer some questions from MLBPLAYERS.com:
MLBPLAYERS.com: Were you happy with your performance in 2007?
Marcum: I think I have met my expectation. I came in not knowing what to expect. The main thing for me -- once I was put into the rotation -- was to make quality starts and be consistent in doing it.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Do you have a preference about starting or working out of the bullpen?
Marcum: Starting for me is a little bit better suited from my style, being a five-pitch guy, using all my pitches to set up hitters. As a reliever you kind of need to attack the hitter right there. You can't afford to set him up for later at-bats because that might be the only hitter you face. It kind of worked out better for me to get put into the rotation in May.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How do you work in five pitches?
Marcum: My pitch selection really depends on the hitter. I like to sit down with Arnie [pitching coach Brad Arnsberg] and go over game film for each hitter I think I'm going to face. I try to attack the hitter's weaknesses with my strengths.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Being from Missouri, can you tell us about the day you pitched in Kansas City?
Marcum: Late in the summer I got the opportunity to start against the Royals in Kansas City. Being a Missouri native, it was pretty special. I had about 200 friends and family there.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you follow that team closely as a kid?
Marcum: I was a big Kansas City Royals fan growing up, especially Bret Saberhagen and George Brett. I followed them quite a bit. I still wish them the best. They have had some new people come in there and have done a good job. They're going in the right direction.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How many tickets did you have to arrange?
Marcum: Luckily I only had to leave 23 tickets for family and friends at the game in Kansas City. My brother and one of his friends organized a big tailgate party. Guinness and Hooters actually sponsored it. It was really cool. They donated a bunch of merchandise and product. It worked out well that it was the day that I ended up pitching. I got to see everybody, including my college coaches.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What did you do in that area for fun?
Marcum: In the offseason I love to go to football games. I'm a big Chiefs fan, too. I have season tickets. If they're not at home, I'm sitting on the couch watching them with my wife and my son. My biggest passion is spending time with my family and watching my son grow up.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Were you a bigger fan of the Chiefs or the Royals?
Marcum: If I had to choose, I would say that I'm a bigger Chiefs fan. I love football.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.