New York Mets starting pitcher Shaun Marcum has dealt with various injuries all spring, including a shoulder injury and nerve inflammation in his neck. However, it appears the right-hander is finally ready to make his 2013 Major League Baseball debut with his new team.
Marcum appeared in an extended spring game on Monday in which he tossed 52 pitches in five scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out four batters in the contest.
The 31-year-old will pitch on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies, assuming there are no setbacks between now and then. Obviously, the Mets are hoping for a solid outing so they can start getting their money’s worth after signing the veteran to a one-year, $4 million contract this past offseason. The Phillies will be a good initial test for Marcum with their .254 team batting average.
Marcum dealt with injuries in Spring Training last season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. He missed the majority of camp with arm stiffness that eventually led him to sitting out two months in the heart of the season. Hopefully, the same fate does not await New York, as they cannot afford to lose another starter for any length of time. The Mets have already lost ace Johan Santana for the season.
Last season was Marcum’s first down year in five seasons as shoulder and elbow stiffness was too much for him to handle. However, he still went 7-4 with a 3.70 earned run average, 109 strikeouts and 124 innings in 21 starts for the Brewers.
Marcum went 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA and two strikeouts in three starts in Spring Training.