One of the men in charge of collecting R.A. Dickey’s missing innings is taking an unorthodox approach to his new job assignment. Finding value in restraint, Shaun Marcum is limiting how many innings he throws this spring, convinced that his patience will allow him to gobble up 200 innings when it matters.

"We’ve got a long spring," Marcum said after tossing two scoreless innings in a B game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday morning. "So, seven, eight starts is a lot. I’m not a guy that thinks we should have spring training six to eight weeks anyway. The shorter the better for me."

Marcum is adopting a measured workload this spring – four or five starts, perhaps? – which is why 23 days into spring training, he has thrown only four innings against major league hitters. He sees no correlation between the number of starts he intends to make in February and March and the seaworthiness of his right arm in April.

So if Tuesday offered a test, it was a concise test in terms of basic baseball measurements: innings (two), pitches (28), batters faced (nine) and outs recorded (six). It was Marcum’s first outing since Feb. 23, but he suspects he’ll return to a more conventional rest pattern during March.

"That’s the plan for me, anyway, as far as if I had anything to say about it," Marcum said. "We’ve just got to figure out when we’re going, then we’ll go in the bullpen and go from there."