The Indians purchased Marcum's contract April 12, when he allowed one run on three hits over the final five innings of an 8-5 loss to the Tigers. Three days later, he was back in Columbus.
"He's worked hard for this opportunity," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He pitched well in the spring and we told him we'd like for him to pitch more. To his credit, he went down to Triple-A and picked up right where he left off."
The Indians signed Marcum to a Minor League contract before both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Marcum spent most of last year recovering from shoulder surgery that was required after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. After a stress fracture in his right shoulder set him back more than a month, Marcum went 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in nine Minor League outings last August, eight with Triple-A Columbus.
Like Marcum, Chen had some Triple-A success this season, going 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .178 batting average in five starts with Columbus. But he was 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA in two starts with the Indians and was designated for assignment after his second start with the team Saturday.
Left-hander TJ House opened the season as the Indians' No. 5 starter, but he is on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation. He tossed three scoreless innings in his first rehab start with Low-A Lake County on Friday and is expected to pitch five innings in his next rehab start with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.
House was eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but the Indians are turning to Marcum for a spot start Wednesday. In nine big-league seasons, the veteran right-hander is 58-46 with a 3.87 ERA over exactly 1,000 innings. Marcum will be making his first start since July 6, 2013 when he was with the Mets.
"We had a need for a starter," Francona said. "[Marcum] throws strikes. He's hard to run on. He doesn't beat himself. He's a really good athlete. He fields his position. He's not going to break the radar gun but he competes. We're excited about this."
Christian Corona is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.