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Shaun Marcum throws four perfect innings in extended spring training

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The veteran right-hander struck out five batters but isn't quite ready to make his Mets debut.

USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that the Mets could be greatly helped by reinforcements to the starting rotation. Except for Jon Niese and Matt Harvey, New York's pitching has been pretty terrible.

A quality starter could be appearing in the rotation soon. On Thursday, Shaun Marcum struck out five batters while allowing no runs, hits, or walks in an extended spring training outing in Port St. Lucie.

The solid start is a good sign that Marcum is on his way to recovering from the nerve inflammation in his neck that has kept him out of the major league rotation so far this season. However, the Mets want Marcum to throw 90 pitches in a start before deeming him healthy enough to play in a real game. He only threw 41 pitches on Thursday.

The acquisition of Marcum went understated in the offseason, but he has the potential to have a big impact on New York's rotation. The veteran is just 31 years old and had a 3.70 ERA last season in 124 innings with Milwaukee. In 2010 and 2011 combined, Marcum threw 396 innings and accumulated a 6.6 fWAR.