Last week, Jonathon Niese complained about a slight muscle strain in his right side, but yesterday, that injury took a turn for the worse. According to MLB.com, Niese might be placed on the DL with a ribcage injury. The disabled list has become a crowded hangout for the Mets this season, but without a real replacement currently on the roster, Chris Schwinden might be in line for a promotion.
Chris Schwinden was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 22nd round of 2008 June Amateur Draft. Schwinden dominated in his first professional season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, winning four games with a 2.01 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 5.83 K/BB in 62.6 innings. Off the bat, the right-handed pitcher established himself as someone who could get a strikeout (10.1 K/9), but more importantly, as a pitcher with pinpoint control (1.7 BB/9).
Schwinden’s command continued beyond the Cyclones. Between 2009 and 2010, the righty owned a 3.85 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 4.38 K/BB in as high as Double-A. This season, the former 22nd rounder finally got a taste of Triple-A. In 133 innings (just 3 of which in Double-A), Schwinden has posted a 3.52 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 2.82 K/BB. His 3.0 BB/9 is a bit above his career average (2.0 BB/9), but his 8.4 K/9 is his best since his Cyclone days.
Though the 24 year-old isn’t considered a top prospect, there’s a decent chance he could materialize into a decent back-of-the-rotation starter (at least in the National League). With most of the Mets blue chip pitching prospects in the lower Minor Leagues, Chris Schwinden looks to be the short-term replacement for the Mets right now.
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