NEW YORK -- Right-hander Shaun Marcum fired five scoreless innings in an extended spring game on Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., keeping him on track to make his Mets debut on Saturday.
Marcum, who has been on the disabled list since Opening Day due to nerve irritation in his neck, struck out four and allowed three hits with zero walks. He threw 52 pitches in the game, then additional pitches after in the bullpen.
The Mets next need a fifth starter on Saturday against the Phillies, and manager Terry Collins has indicated that Marcum will be that pitcher if healthy. Left-hander Aaron Laffey, who served as the fifth starter earlier this season, was designated for assignment on Sunday.
Marcum, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Mets last winter worth $4 million plus incentives. He went 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers last weekend, missing a month due to a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Shoulder and elbow issues have forced him to the disabled list multiple times throughout his seven-year career with the Blue Jays and Brewers.