Mets remove Shaun Marcum from rotation to build arm strength

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Marcum needs to build arm strength before making any more starts. (USATSI)

The Mets have removed Shaun Marcum from their Grapefruit League rotation so he can build arm strength, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Manager Terry Collins confirmed the right-hander will concentrate on a long-toss program before rejoining the rotation in mid-March.

Marcum, 31, missed time with shoulder inflammation last spring. He went 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers last year, which earned him a one-year contract worth $4 million this past winter. Marcum is one of baseball's softest tossers, averaging just 86-87 mph with his fastball over the last three seasons, according to the PitchFX system.

The Mets recently pushed back Johan Santana's spring training debut so he, too, could build up arm strength with a long-toss program. The left-hander had shoulder surgery and missed the entire 2011 season.

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