Shaun Marcum pulled from Mets’ spring rotation so that he can “strengthen his shoulder”

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MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo has the story:

Right-hander Shaun Marcum has temporarily stepped out of the Mets’ Grapefruit League rotation, but is not injured. [Manager Terry Collins] said Marcum wants to concentrate on a long-toss program designed to strengthen his shoulder, which gave him trouble last spring. He will return to game action in early to mid-March.

The Mets aren’t calling it a setback, but it definitely is. Marcum allowed four hits and three earned runs over two innings Saturday in his Grapefruit League debut against the Nationals and clearly isn’t anywhere close to full health.

Marcum dealt with both elbow and shoulder issues in 2012 and was limited to 124 innings.

He signed a one-year, $4 million free agent contract with the Mets this offseason.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.