Jonathon Niese is proceeding with his bullpen session today, rotation starting to come together:
Niese, who was forced to leave Tuesday night’s game in the fourth after being struck by a comebacker between his ankle and achilles, will toss his regular bullpen session today. It was a scary sight right after Niese was hit a few nights ago, as he sat down on the grass in obvious pain. It was later revealed that his foot had gone numb. Thankfully for Niese and the Mets, the numbness subsided and the extent of the injury was a nasty bruise. Assuming Niese comes through today’s bullpen session without a hitch, he’s on track to make his next scheduled start on Sunday.
With Shaun Marcum scheduled to make his season debut on Saturday against Philadelphia, the Mets’ starting rotation is beginning to fall into place. In Niese, Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee (whose last start was a huge step in the right direction), and Marcum, the Mets are one solid starter away from having a very formidable starting five. So far this season, Jeremy Hefner is sporting a 7.07 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. That certainly isn’t acceptable. Once Zack Wheeler is deemed ready (he’s pitching in AAA tonight at 10:05), it’s highly likely that he’ll replace Hefner to further solidify the rotation.
Lucas Duda has been moved to the cleanup spot:
Two days after stating that he didn’t want to move Lucas Duda to cleanup (out of fear that it would put pressure on him), Terry Collins reversed course and is hitting Duda fourth this afternoon against Los Angeles. Per the beat writers, Collins says this is just a one day thing. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be.
It’s put up or shut up time for the 27 year old Duda. In order for the Mets to live with his below average defense in left field, he’ll have to prove that he can be a major contributor with the bat. So far this season, Duda has a triple slash of .275/.471/.627. He’s hit 5 homers and driven in 8. His OBP (.471) is tremendous, but Duda needs to do a better job driving in the runners who are on base in front of him. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to hitting cleanup.
Josh Edgin‘s struggles and possible demotion:
With Shaun Marcum set to be activated on Saturday, the Mets will have to clear a spot on the roster. It’s clear that one of the relievers will be the casualty. The Mets are currently carrying three lefties in the pen (Edgin, Scott Rice, and the recently promoted Robert Carson). Rice has pitched well over his 10.1 innings. He’s sporting an ERA of 0.87 and a WHIP of 1.16. Carson did a great job keeping the Mets in the game Tuesday when he was summoned after Niese was forced to exit the game. Edgin? He’s been a mess. In 8.1 innings, he’s sporting an ERA of 10.80 and a WHIP of 2.04.
Edgin’s spot on the roster is in trouble, and it seems that the only other potential candidate for demotion is Jeurys Familia. After being sent down after just one appearance, Familia was recalled a week ago and turned in a tremendous performance Tuesday night. He tossed an inning and a third, allowing one hit while striking out three. In my opinion, Familia should get a chance to continue to prove himself, while Edgin should be sent down to AAA to work through this rough patch. We’ll get our answer before Saturday’s game.