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Marcum focused on big picture in Indians' camp

Marcum focused on big picture in Indians' camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Shaun Marcum came into camp this spring with hopes of competing for a spot in the Indians' rotation. With less than two weeks remaining until the start of the season, that no longer seems like a realistic scenario.

If Opening Day is not a possibility, Marcum still wants to stick with the ballclub.

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"This organization has treated me well," Marcum said on Wednesday morning. "The training staff, the front office, coaching staff, the guys in the clubhouse. This is where I want to be, so we'll see what happens if that day comes. The main thing right now is to try to pitch for the Cleveland Indians."

The Indians signed Marcum to a Minor League contract on Dec. 16, giving him the opportunity to continue his comeback from July surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. Cleveland put the 32-year-old veteran on a conservative throwing program that included working through his second live batting-practice session on Tuesday.

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway was impressed with what he saw from the right-hander.

"He got a lot of swings and misses," Callaway said. "The two hitters that faced him said the changeup was really, really good. That's always kind of been his bread and butter. And he spun the ball well. His stuff is there. If he continues to improve with the life and command and the velo, we might have a pretty good pitcher on our hands."

Marcum went 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA in 14 appearances with the Mets last season before complications with his right shoulder led to the unique operation. Prior to last year, Marcum went 54-32 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 148 games across his previous five seasons in the Majors.

Marcum, who can opt out of his contract if he does not make the Opening Day roster, wants to return to that kind of form as quickly as possible, but he knows better than to rush things during Spring Training.

"There's no frustration at all. I'm keeping the bigger picture in mind," Marcum said. "Talking to the trainers, I came out in January and we had a plan and we've stuck to it. That was the main thing, to try to stay healthy not only for this year, but to be able to play for another couple years."

Callaway has been pleased that Marcum has taken that view on the situation.

"The meaningful innings that we're going to get from him are going to come during the season," Callaway said, "and not necessarily whether he makes the team out of Spring Training. That's what we've been talking about. He's such a professional. That's kind of what he's done. That's been good to see."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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