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Collins, Mets Concerned Marcum Won't Be Ready To Start Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- First Johan Santana, now Shaun Marcum?

It seems the Mets could be two starters down when the season kicks off less than a week from now.

Marcum experienced discomfort in his neck during a bullpen session Monday and has been scratched from Thursday's Grapefruit League start, the Mets announced Tuesday.

New York "fears" that Marcum won't be ready to start the season, according to the New York Daily News.

The 31-year-old received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder last week, which manager Terry Collins downplayed as an annual occurrence.

On Tuesday, Collins admitted he was worried about Marcum's status.

"He's supposed to pitch in seven days, so yeah, I'm a little concerned," he said.

Marcum went 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA and 109 strikeouts for the Milwaukee Brewers last season. He was limited to 21 starts with lingering shoulder and elbow issues.

According to ESPN, the Mets are "discussing potentially signing" old friend Chris Young, though it's "not the most likeliest of scenarios." A source told the Daily News they doubted left-hander Aaron Laffey would get the call if Marcum can't go.

Because a day off follows Monday's opener, the Mets wouldn't necessarily need a fifth starter to start the season. Marcum will be examined Tuesday.

Marcum has pitched only 9.2 innings this spring. He let up five hits over four innings in his last start on March 16.

The right-hander signed a one-year deal for $4 million and incentives this offseason. He has a career record of 57-36 with a 3.76 ERA.

Also on Tuesday, reliever Pedro Feliciano informed the Mets that he would accept an assignment to Triple-A. New York asked the left-hander to spend the first month of the season in the minors to build arm strength.

So let's say the Mets need to fill Marcum's spot -- who should they tab? Make your case in the comments...

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