Shaun Marcum likely to start the year on the disabled list

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Trouble with the Mets rotation. Adam Rubin reports that the Mets have “legitimate concerns” about Shaun Marcum after he had to cut a bullpen session short due to a neck issue.  He’s going to see a doctor today and will not make the start scheduled for Thursday. This also very clearly puts the beginning of the regular season in doubt.

The Mets have some options if Marcum is not available. One is to shuffle the rotation around, bumping Marcum a few days. Or they could DL him, going through April with four starters, which is usually doable given the additional off-days.  Another option: call up a young pitcher like, say, Zack Wheeler.

About that last one, Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to one Met who is pro-Wheeler. But from the sounds of it the Mets aren’t willing to do it, which makes that one Met kind of mad:

 

 

I don’t know if that math works out — if Wheeler is a stud the few weeks he’s on the team now could mean tens of millions of dollars later — but you can understand how a guy on the current Mets’ roster would want the best available solutions now, not later.

Anyway: Marcum’s status is worth watching.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.