Shaun Marcum was shut down prior to a simulated start on Tuesday and is now unlikely to make his scheduled Mets debut on Sunday, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.
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Marcum, who has been dealing with a wide variety of injuries this spring, was scratched from his simulated start in Port St. Lucie because of pain in his neck. The right-hander is on the 15-day disabled list, officially due to biceps tendinitis, but has also been dealing with a shoulder impingement and the aforementioned neck problems.
Had the simulated game gone off without a hitch, Marcum was slated to be activated from the DL this weekend and would have started Sunday afternoon's game at Citi Field against the Marlins. Now that he's suffered a setback, however, it appears likely that southpaw Aaron Laffey will make the start in Marcum's stead.
The Mets could call up top prospect Zack Wheeler to help bolster a rotation now reeling with the losses of Johan Santana and Marcum, but manager Terry Collins said that the 23-year-old still needs time to develop at Triple-A.
The Mets signed Marcum to a one-year, $4 million deal in late January knowing full well that his penchant for injury was high, but hoping that he could power through for just one year.
Marcum will be evaluated further sometime Wednesday, so there should be an update on his status by the afternoon.