Mets' Maine could reportedly be shut down with shoulder woes

Clinging to a lead in the NL East, the Mets have been having problems with their bullpen. Now, they might have serious issues at the front end of the pitching staff.

According to multiple media reports on Sunday, right-handed starter John Maine may be shut down for the season if he doesn't breeze through a side session this week.

Maine has been battling a bone spur in his right shoulder but has tried to pitch through the pain. After Maine gave up 10 hits and eight earned runs in 5 2/3 innings during Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Astros, Mets manager Jerry Manual expressed his concern.

"I'm comfortable with anybody who wants to gut it out. But if that isn't enough for us to win, then I have to make a decision about that," he said, according to MLB.com.

Maine told the coaching staff that he still wants to pitch, and he is scheduled to test his shoulder this week. Surgery was considered likely after the season, but the Mets are deciding whether to move that timetable up.

"You have a young pitcher who's 27 years old, and he's trying to pitch differently than he did earlier in the year, in terms of his velocity and that type of thing," Manuel said, according to MLB.com. "But John Maine wants to pitch, he wants to gut it out, and we've been assured he can't injure himself more than he has.

"That's going to be a though thing for us ... to evaluate or to see John Maine and maybe not see what we saw earlier in terms of velocity. He wants to do this, he wants to pitch, he loves to pitch, but we really have to look at this situation."