The Mets announced this afternoon that Shaun Marcum has been diagnosed with nerve inflammation in his shoulder and neck. The team says he was given treatment for the condition and will be shut down for forty-eight hours.
Despite a handful of relatively minor baseball health problems in spring training, Marcum was slated to start the Mets' second game of the year. When it appeared he wouldn't be ready, he was pushed back to sixth game of the season, the upcoming Sunday afternoon game between the Mets and Marlins. But even that start was washed out when the Mets announced a couple days ago that Aaron Laffey would fill in for Marcum.
At the very least, Marcum's first start as a Met won't be happening anytime soon. The team officially considers him day-to-day, but Marcum is reportedly heading back to Port St. Lucie to recover. That's not a good sign.
Last year, Marcum made just twenty-one starts for the Brewers, but he averaged twenty-eight starts per season between 2010 and 2012. If his absence is prolonged, though, and Zack Wheeler proves himself ready to move on from Triple-A ball by the end of April, it'll be awfully difficult for the Mets to keep Wheeler in the minors just to prevent him from attaining super-two arbitration status down the road.