With the season in tatters, there are really very few items to actually look forward to the rest of the 2009 campaign. One of them was to see what kind of pitcher promising young lefty Jon Niese could turn out to be. Scratch that item off the list. Niese, as I am sure you have seen by now, suffered a severe right hamstring injury while attempting to cover first base in the second inning of yesterday’s win over the Cardinals.
Niese was off to a nice start yesterday and his admirable performances in his past tow outings were beginning to create some buzz amongst the Met faithful. That all came to a crashing halt in the Citi Field heat and another dismal chapter was added to this unfathomable Mets season. Initially the injury did not appear to be too serious as Niese was able to walk back to the mound after doing an awkward split in his attempt to turn a double play. When Niese then attempted to throw a warm-up pitch, he crumbled to the ground in pain after landing on his right leg, as if he had ben shot.
You have to wonder why the Mets trainers didn’t do a better job of examining Niese before letting him throw that pitch. Nothing has been reported on the matter, but it appeared as if he did further damage to the hamstring by being allowed to extend it during the pitch. For an interesting take, check out the comment our astute reader guttless left on my last blog entry.
Whatever the case may be, the sight of this young man, trying to make a name for himself, writhing in agony in front of the pitcher’s mound was enough to bring Mets fans to tears. After an initial diagnosis of a right hamstring strain was filtered out by Mets PR, it was determined later on on the evening that Niese had a complete tear of the hammy, right off the bone and that he was done for the year.
With Niese being put on the 60-day DL, that brings the number of current Mets participants on that dreaded list to 10. With Alex Cora, Angel Pagan, Oliver Perez, Brian Schneider, Ryan Church and Gary Sheffield (who could be headed there again) also having spent time on the shelf, that makes Niese the 16th man this year for the Mets who has collected his paycheck from the sidelines. I think the only thing left to ask Mets fans is….What could possibly be next?