Shaun Marcum has neck pain, will not start on Thursday

Shaun Marcum 2 polaroidShaun Marcum experienced neck pain during his bullpen session yesterday, reports Andy Martino of the Daily News.

As a result, Marcum has been scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday.

Update – 4:24 pm: Marcum’s neck pain will be treated with anti-inflammatories, the team announced.

Marcum has a 4.66 ERA in 9 2/3 innings over three starts this spring.

Michael Baron, Contributor

It has been far from a smooth ride for Marcum this spring. He dealt with an arm strength issue at the beginning of camp and received a cortisone injection in that shoulder last week, both of which have limited his innings this spring. Now this neck issue might further limit his innings which, aside from leading to another injury, is probably a key reason why his availability next week is in question.

If the Mets have to skip Marcum’s start against the Padres next week, they could simply use a four-man rotation the first time through and slot Marcum in on April 7 against the Marlins, assuming Marcum is ready then. That way, everyone in the rotation can pitch on regular rest. The Mets can then put Marcum on the disabled list and backdate his stint ten days, which would open up a temporary roster spot and allow the Mets to carry an extra reliever north.