The bad news regarding Jonathon Niese has gotten worse – almost as bad as it can get for the New York Mets.
Niese, who left Thursday night’s game in Atlanta in the fourth inning because of pain in his left shoulder, was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff. The announcement came less than an hour after manager Terry Collins was quoted as saying the injury wasn’t severe.
Collins’ comments only reinforced the understanding that under no circumstances, should the word of a Mets’ manager be taken when it comes to discussing the severity of an injury, which might have had its roots from Niese pitching in back-to-back sub-30-degree games in Minnesota and Denver.
Niese struggled after those starts and later complained of back stiffness. He later missed a start with shoulder tendinitis. What isn’t known, was how much Niese’s mechanics were altered by the cold-weather originated stiffness and if that strain eventually caused the tear.
Surgery is not immediately recommended the Mets said about an hour ago, but with this type of injury it usually is how these things end.
As was suggested earlier today, Niese was placed on the disabled list.
Speaking to reporters in Philadelphia, Mets assistant GM John Ricco said: “Hopefully, it will start healing itself and he won’t need surgery. But we’ll know more after a couple of weeks of rest. According to the doctors it’s a small-enough tear that with rest … they’re hopeful it won’t need surgery. It’s not ‘full thickness’ or a significant tear at this point.’’
If there’s no progress in that time, if the Mets wanted to add a player to their 40-man roster they could place Niese on the 60-day disabled list.
Niese recently missed a start because of tendinitis in his shoulder. Ricco said this is a new injury that didn’t show on a MRI at the time. That doesn’t mean Niese didn’t exasperate the injury by throwing with the tendinitis.
Reliever Greg Burke replaces Niese on the 25-man roster and the Mets’ rotation logjam took care of itself.
In a snarky comment, manager Collins told reporters: “You guys got your wish. There’s only five of them left.’’
It is as stupid a comment as a manager can make. No doubt Collins is frustrated, not only with his team, but also the persistent questioning of who would be bounced from the rotation.
The questioning is understandable since the Mets wanted to push things off by going to a six-man rotation. Reporters have to ask that question.
Collins’ answer implies the media wanted somebody to get hurt in order to get the answer. That’s not only absurd, but totally irresponsible.
It also won’t win Collins any points with the press if he needs the benefit of doubt when his job is on the line.
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