At 27, left-handed and with a reasonable contract, there’s a lot to like about Jon Niese, both from the Mets and the opponents that tried to pry him away from them.
However, a combination of poor run support, a porous bullpen, injuries, and above all else, the inability to put away an inning once he gets in trouble, explains his 51-51 record and only one winning season – 13-9 in 2012 – during his seven year career.
There was always the belief by the Mets the light would click on and by interested teams that he could use a change of scenery.
Niese’ biggest problem is he lets innings get away, evidenced by giving up three straight singles to load the bases, before giving way to Josh Edgin, who immediately gave up a two-run single.
Niese cruised through seven innings, but things unraveled in the eighth. What happened Saturday has defined Niese’s career with the Mets.
Now at 9-11 with Saturday’s 4-2 victory, one must wonder if Niese will ever reach the next level and that this might be as good as it gets.
GRANDERSON HOMERS: Although the Mets never thought Curtis Granderson would be the 40-homer stud he was with the Yankees.
Granderson hit his 20th homer Saturday for 63 RBI and raised his average to .223.
Of course, much will be made of Citi Field’s dimensions, but coming off injuries and not having a productive David Wright ahead of him all contribute to a down season.
However, like Niese, Granderson has been a disappointment.
MONTERO TO GET START: Rafael Montero is scheduled to get a start against Houston in the final series at Citi Field next weekend.
Montero threw 5.1 scoreless innings in his last start, Sept. 10, against Colorado.
At one time it was believed Montero would compete for a job in the rotation, but Jacob deGrom’s emergence has pushed him out.
Assuming no departures, and everybody is healthy, next year’s rotation figures to be Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Niese, deGrom and Bartolo Colon.
That leaves Montero in the bullpen or as trade bait.