Jonathon Niese, working his way back from two separate arm issues, pitched 4.1 innings in a minor league game Thursday. After the game, Niese stated that he felt very good about both the outing and his health, and said that he expects to make his regular season debut as planned on April 6.
During the 4.1 innings he tossed today, Niese allowed 0 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. He threw 57 pitches.
The next step for Niese will be another minor league game on April 1 before his expected season debut on April 6 against the Reds at Citi Field.
Although Niese expects to be ready for his start on April 6, the Mets plan to place him on the disabled list (backdated nine days into spring training) in order to carry an extra bench player until Niese is activated.
Much more important than his results – which were good anyway – is that Niese feels good about both the quality of his stuff and the health of his arm.
Niese worked his way back from a partially torn rotator cuff in 2013, and the fact that he was sidelined twice during spring training with minor arm ailments is definitely cause for concern.
However, neither of the maladies Niese experienced were related to his shoulder. Hopefully, he’ll be able to put his uneven spring behind him beginning on April 6 at Citi Field.