Terry Collins Leaning To Jon Niese As Opening Day Starter

New York Mets manager Terry Collins reiterated his thoughts Jonathon Niese would be his Opening Day starter, as well he should according to conventional baseball wisdom.

Despite Zack Wheeler’s desire for the ball, the honor should go to Niese, last year’s starter and whom Collins called “the ace of the staff,’’ in wake of Matt Harvey’s injury. If not Niese, then it should be Dillon Gee, the Mets’ most consistent starter last year and author of 199 innings.

NIESE: Opening Day starter?

NIESE: Opening Day starter?

Barring injury, accepted baseball thinking is why Niese should start. Niese is the most experienced of the Mets’ starters – of those growing up in the organization – and having been signed to a long-term contract, the most is expected of him.

Niese’s 8-8 2013 record is mediocre, but attributable in large part because of a shoulder injury. Veterans usually get preference if for no other reason as a reward.

Bartolo Colon is obviously the staff’s most experienced starter, but has no cache within the organization to warrant the start.

As for Wheeler, he might represent the Mets’ future, but with 17 career starts and seven wins, he has a while to go.

You have to admire Wheeler’s desire to want to have that role. It shows where he wants to be in his career.

“Last year I was coming in trying to win a spot,’’ Wheeler said earlier this week. “This year I’m trying to get the Opening Day spot. … It’s nothing on those guys, on the other starters, because anybody in the starting rotation could be the Opening Day starter. But that’s just my mindset coming in – to push myself to try to get the Opening Day spot.’’

Niese probably thinks the same. At least, let’s hope he does.

ON DECK: Bartolo Colon greets media.

7 thoughts on “Terry Collins Leaning To Jon Niese As Opening Day Starter

  1. Niese is not an Ace. He is a #3. If you want to go with a vet I think Gee is the Ace. But I really think if Wheeler brings it he should be named.

    Let the best pitcher start the first game.

    • Dave: Normally, I’d agree. However, there’s a status thing, and a pressure issue, in being the Opening Day starter. If for no other reason, I see Collins not giving Wheeler the ball to take pressure of him.-JD

  2. I see this staff as 4 potential #2s. They should all give solid but not spectacular numbers (say, 14-10, 3.60 and 17-20 QS), the bullpen stays fresh and effective, then the offense has a fighting chance to stay in games.
    So 85-90 wins is doable if we get 4 of the following 6… d’Arnaud, Lagares, Granderson, Youngs, Tejada and Davis to all hit like Wright and Murphy

    • 14-10 is very aggressive.

      Historically our pitchers don’t go deep so the pen is fried by the all star game.

      The pitchers re good. The hitters are not. There is no way we get 4 players to hit like Dan and David. We will be lucky if 2 do.