MILWAUKEE -- Shaun Marcum may not know what is causing the right hand numbness he felt in each of his last two outings, but the Mets believe a period of rest may help him combat it.
With that in mind, the Mets are considering skipping Marcum's final rotation turn before the All-Star break, which they could do without using a spot starter thanks to Thursday's off-day. Following Sunday's game, the team flew Marcum to St. Louis for another physical examination.
"Part of the discussion is going to be, 'Is he going to need a break? Should we rest him?'" manager Terry Collins said. "So I'll have those discussions with [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] and certainly with [general manager] Sandy [Alderson], and talk about what our options are going into the break. But certainly I'm concerned that I don't want this thing to keep flaring up. Maybe rest is the best thing for him at this time."
Marcum said he has never before experienced the numbness that first began troubling him last week in New York. The MRI that he underwent after that start came up clean.
But numbness returned to his hand in the middle innings of Saturday's game, prompting a new wave of concern. Though the Mets have not officially ruled Marcum out for his next scheduled start Friday in Pittsburgh, they have already discussed skipping him.
Doing so would not affect Matt Harvey, who was likely to move up in the rotation anyway to promote his candidacy to start the All-Star Game. But it would affect Dillon Gee, whom the Mets had hoped to give an extended All-Star vacation to rest his right forearm -- an injury concern earlier this season.
If the Mets do skip Marcum, they would pitch Harvey, Gee and Zack Wheeler this week in San Francisco, then use Jeremy Hefner, Harvey and Gee next weekend in Pittsburgh leading into the break. The Mets could also spot start Carlos Torres in an alternate plan.