Two Mets pitchers are getting close to returning.
According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, starter Shaun Marcum could make his Mets debut as soon as next week. Marcum will throw a bullpen session today, and a three-or four inning simulated game on Thursday. If all goes well, he would likely make his first Mets start against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.
Marcum signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Mets back in January. The right-hander had a 3.71 ERA and a 109/41 K/BB ratio in 124 innings as a Milwaukee Brewer in 2012 but missed a large portion of the season due to elbow problems.
Reliever Frank Francisco will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A St. Lucie today. Francisco had surgery back in December to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He was rehabilitating the injury but was shut down during spring training due to recurring inflammation in the elbow.
Francisco had a 5.53 ERA and a 47/21 K/BB ratio in 42.1 innings as the Mets' closer last season.
This is good news for the Mets as both represent an upgrade over someone already on the roster. Marcum, even at less than 100 percent, is still a much better pitcher than the unironically named Aaron Laffey. Francisco, while he was likely responsible for a ton of broken remotes last year, was an effective reliever before 2012 and still possesses more upside than LaTroy Hawkins.