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Friday, April 26, 2013
Notes: Marcum, Wheeler and Niese

By Matt Ehalt

Shaun Marcum's extended spring training starts won't compare to his season debut on Saturday.

"I'm sure I'll have a little bit of adrenaline, a little more than I had in the extended spring game," Marcum said Friday. "At the same time you got to know how to control it and use it to your advantage and know when to back off and when to add on a little bit. I'm looking forward to it and I'm definitely excited to get out there and get in situations in real games."

After missing almost the entire first month of the season because of neck and shoulder pain due to nerve inflammation, Marcum will be activated off the disabled list and make his Mets debut against the Phillies. Marcum signed a one-year deal in the offseason.

"It's been a while," Marcum said. "Definitely looking forward to getting out there."

Marcum is slated to throw 90-95 pitches on Saturday, and is looking forward to reuniting with catcher John Buck, who he played with in Toronto in 2010.

"The main thing for me is I have to keep the ball down and locate my pitches. If I don't do that, whether I'm feeling 100 or 50 percent, it doesn't really matter," Marcum said. "Gotta go out there and locate and try to get ahead of hitters and have them put the ball in play early."

WALKING WHEELS: Heralded Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler had control issues once again in his latest Triple-A start on Thursday against Tacoma, walking three batters in five innings. In his previous start, he walked six in 4 1/3 innings against Sacramento.

Mets manager Terry Collins said after Wheeler's six-walk performance that he can't be walking batters and he's better than that. On Friday, Collins said he's been told that Wheeler's a little bit out of control at the moment, and that could be due to overthrowing.

"What worries me the most is that he’s not pounding the strike zone. We’ve got to have some strikes out of him because his stuff is going to play," Collins said. "If he’s in the strike zone, you’d be surprised at the outs because his stuff is just that good."

NIESE OK: Jonathon Niese said he's all set to start on Sunday. Niese took a liner off his foot on Tuesday, putting his next in question, but he threw a bullpen session Thursday and feels fine. On Friday, he played catch and ran long sprints as part of his normal routine.

THEY KNOW: To make room for Marcum, the Mets will have to make a roster move after Friday's game. Candidates include relievers Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia.

"I have not talked to (GM) Sandy (Alderson), but we have an idea who it's going to be," Collins said.