May 08

Niese starts tonight

Jon Niese, at 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo, starts tonight for the Mets against Pittsburgh. When Niese considered his record, he admits the promotion came as a surprise.

“It was a shock, but I was real excited,” said Niese. “I had a rough start. You can’t go around that. But I figured things out working on my bullpens, trying to pound the ball in the zone, and I tried to incorporate into my last outing and was successful.”

Barring an exceptional performance that just screams for an encore, this might be Niese’s only start with the Mets for awhile because Tim Redding (shoulder injury) is close to returning.

Redding pitched six strong innings in a rehab start Wednesday for Buffalo.

“I think we’re in a situation where we can now evaluate that spot on a turn-by-turn basis,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “It will depend on how we look the next time around, basically for Niese. This will be a good opportunity for him, but if he’s not quite ready, Redding or another starter down there could take that place.”

Mar 17

Niese goes today ….

Jon NIese takes his 9.00 ERA to the mound today against the Braves. Niese is still in the hunt for the fifth spot in the rotation, but hasn’t overly impressed in his opportunity.

I’m still putting what’s left of my money on Livan Hernandez to win the role. That is, of course, if the Mets don’t pick somebody else up, such as re-signing Pedro Martinez.

Nobody has blown away the field. Tim Redding is hurting and could open the season on the DL. Freddy Garcia? That ended quickly.

I like what I saw of Niese last season, but he also had those moments that said he wasn’t ready. I’d hate for him to come up and get rocked the way Mike Pelfrey did. If there is a viable major league option to Niese, the Mets will take it.

Feb 27

Fifth starter update: Livan sharp; Garcia not so

GARCIA: Rough day.

GARCIA: Rough day.

Watching Feddy Garcia labor big time against the Cardinals. It’s early, but it has to be frustrating for Garcia, who has given up four runs on a pile of pitches. Garcia is trying to make the team as the fifth starter.

He’s competing with Livan Hernandez, who threw two perfect innings today, Tim Redding and Jon Niese.

If I were betting, I would say Hernandez wins the job, Redding will get slotted as the long man, Niese and Garcia would open in the minors.

Feb 26

Santana scratched for tomorrow ….

Johan Santana has been scratched from tomorrow’s start because of tenderness in his elbow. Jerry Manuel said he would pitch during the regular season, which is manager speak for saying, “I don’t want to make a big thing about this right now.”

Santana pitched through a tender elbow last year.

Tim Redding, who is trying to build up his arm strength, won’t throw off the mound tomorrow. Redding will continue to long toss and won’t go off the mound until next week. The Mets are thinking March 8 for when he’ll get in a game.

Mike Pelfrey will start tomorrow.

Feb 22

Redding sidelined a week

Here’s why you can never have enough pitching.  Fifth-starter candidate Tim Redding won’t throw off the mound for a week because of discomfort in his right shoulder.

Redding underwent off-season surgery to repair a stress fracture in a toe on his left foot, and he said rushing back caused the soreness.

Word is he should be fine, but during the season when a pitcher gets shut down for a week if often means the DL.