Shaun Marcum downplays shoulder issue

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Shaun Marcum downplayed what the team announced as a shoulder impingement, suggesting he would not have even advocated getting a cortisone shot had his velocity not been down in his last start.

Marcum said he now has received a cortisone shot in his shoulder each of the last three spring trainings. Last year, his spring-training shoulder issue cost him 19 days. But Marcum insisted this instance would prompt him just to miss one turn in the Grapefruit League rotation.

Marcum said he does have some flexibility and range of motion limitation -- "a little tighter than I had been prior to that" -- but "not really" any discomfort. He said an MRI showed no structural damage. He was in New York anyway, he said, shopping for houses on the off-day.

"I feel like it's part of my spring-training routine," Marcum said. "It's precautionary. 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. ... I feel fine. I feel strong. I do. It's just something that looking back at my last start, my velocity was down a little bit. That was the only thing. I said something to them, to the trainers. They really didn't want to do the injection. I had to kind of talk them into it."

Marcum said his goal of reaching 200 innings will not be compromised by this issue.

"Not at all," Marcum said. "I'll just miss this one start and pick up where we left off. I'll make my 80-85 pitches in my next start and be ready for whatever slot I slide into in the rotation. ... I know the MRI checked out clean. As a precautionary thing we had that done. There was no structural damage or anything like that."