Suffering from what has been described as bicep tendinitis and a sore neck, the New York Mets have placed right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum on the 15-Day DL, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. Marcum had been expected to make his season and team debut on Sunday, at home against the Miami Marlins, but the team will need to make other plans in light in this move. Already coping with the loss of one of their top starting pitchers, as John Santana has already been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury, the Mets were certainly not hoping for another injury to their rotation so early in the season.
Marcum signed with the Mets as a free agent this winter, a one year deal worth $4 Million. The now 31 year old made 21 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, posting a 7-4 mark and 3.70 ERA in 124.0 IP. He had a solid season, including a career high 7.9 K/9 and there was some initial speculation that he could be in line for a multi year deal on the open market. That speculation included an assumption that there was no chance that he’d return to Milwaukee. However, the longer he remained available, the fewer options became available and Marcum would have to settle for the one year deal with New York.
Now Marcum finds himself on the DL, with no timetable set for his anticipated return.
It’s uncertain who’ll start in Marcum’s place on Sunday, but the early favorite appears to be Aaron Laffey. Laffey joined the Mets on a minor league deal over the winter, having spent the 2012 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’d throw 100.2 IP on the year, making 16 starts in 22 appearances on the year, with a 4-6 record and 4.56 ERA. He could merely be a placeholder for a few starts, either until Marcum returns healthy or until the team makes another move to add some pitching depth (such as signing free agent Chris Young).