Feb 27

Jon Niese MRI Is Clean; Incident A Reminder Of Pitching Fragility

The New York Mets received good news Thursday when the MRI on Jon Niese’s pitching shoulder came back clean. Most times when a pitcher complains of a dead arm as Niese did, the issue is more weakness than injury, which is the diagnosis here.

This was the best possible news for the Mets, who have plenty of issues already without having to worry about losing their No. 1 starter.

This was a scare to be sure, but what it also serves as is a reminder starting pitching is scarce, meaning they better be careful if they are considering dealing a starter, even on the minor level, for shortstop Nick Franklin.

Reportedly, Seattle is asking for starting pitching for Franklin, an infielder who became expendable with the Mariners’ signing of Robinson Cano. The Mets turned down trade overtures for Niese in the past, but this time he wasn’t on the Mariners’ wish list.

Niese was examined Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan after complaining of shoulder soreness the day after throwing batting practice. He wanted the exam for his peace of mind because he missed two months last season with a partially torn rotator cuff.

Niese will miss his first exhibition start, Tuesday against Houston, but could resume throwing this weekend.

Manager Terry Collins said Niese will be the Mets’ Opening Day starter, and didn’t back off that Wednesday.

ON DECK: Intrasquad game.

 

Sep 05

Sept. 5.08: Time to prove something.

Do you remember, their lead last year that disappeared in two weeks?

Of course, you do. Let’s hope the Mets remember, too. Willie Randolph said in spring training that the collapse was behind them, but when he took over Jerry Manuel said if he were manager he would have hammered the collapse home as a motivator.

If nothing else, the Mets should have learned about fragility. And, that’s not just in the late innings when the bullpen has the game. It is advancing runners and hitting with runners in scoring position from the first inning on. They’ve played well lately, but this remains a concern.

What the Mets should have learned from last year is the development of the killer instinct. No matter what happens this weekend, the Mets will not win or lose the NL East. But, winning two of three, at least, gives them the hammer.

Let’s hope this time, they don’t drop it on their foot.

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