Shaun Marcum cleared to make Mets debut on Saturday

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that right-hander Shaun Marcum has been cleared to make his Mets debut on Saturday against the Phillies.

Marcum was placed on the disabled list at the end of spring training because of biceps tendinitis and then developed neck inflammation while rehabbing his arm. But he has looked sharp in recent outings at extended spring training and is feeling strong.

Marcum signed a one-year, $4 million free agent contract with the Mets this past winter after posting a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 109/41 K/BB ratio in 124 innings (21 starts) last season for the Brewers.

The Mets’ rotation will soon be Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and Marcum.

That’s a very talented group of starting pitchers. And only Marcum is over 30 years old.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.