PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets righthander Shaun Marcum expects to begin the season in the starting rotation despite his latest bout with shoulder problems.
"It should be good to go once the season starts," Marcum said on Thursday.
The 31-year-old requested a cortisone shot after he was diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement. It is the third straight spring training in which his oft-injured shoulder has required an injection. He missed three weeks last spring with a similar shoulder issue.
Though he didn't complain of pain or soreness, Marcum said he felt stiffness in his shoulder, though the biggest red flag proved to be a dip in velocity in his last start. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage, though Marcum said he insisted upon getting the cortisone shot.
"I feel like it's part of my spring training routine so it's precautionary, make sure everything is OK," Marcum said. "I told Terry [Collins] and Sandy [Alderson] I'd rather miss three days of spring training than miss a week or two during the season."
Collins said on Wednesday that Marcum could pitch as early as Monday. Marcum hopes to throw 80 to 85 pitches in his next outing, which would put him in line to begin the season in the starting rotation.