Niese Hurt, Ike Awakens, Burke to Return

By Danny Abriano

Here are today’s pertinent news and notes…

Jonathon Niese leaves game with shoulder injury, to have MRI:

Starting pitcher Jonathon Niese left last night’s game in Atlanta in the fourth inning after experiencing discomfort in his left shoulder.  He was in visible pain after delivering a pitch, and called for the trainers before exiting the game.

Jun 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Niese has dealt with a few health issues this season, including a back injury and a bout with shoulder tendinitis.  He’ll receive an MRI today when he’s examined by team doctors in New York.

Niese downplayed the severity of the injury last night, but Adam Rubin reports that he’ll likely wind up on the disabled list regardless of what the doctors discover today.  If Niese does indeed land on the DL, it would cut the rotation from six to five, meaning that the Mets (for the time being) wouldn’t have to decide whether to remove Jeremy Hefner or Shaun Marcum from the rotation.

Ike Davis is heating up in AAA:

Ike Davis, who continued to struggle after his demotion to AAA Las Vegas, is beginning to heat up.  He homered twice last night, while raising his average to .306 and his OBP to .459.

It’s certainly encouraging, but both Terry Collins and the coaches in Vegas aren’t yet satisfied that Davis has fully corrected his swing and approach.  He’s making progress, but isn’t ready to return to the majors.

Greg Burke likely to return tonight:

If Jonathon Niese lands on the disabled list, it’s expected that the Mets will recall Greg Burke from AAA Las Vegas.  Burke, who was sent down when the Mets needed to make room for Carlos Torres, can only be called up if a player lands on the disabled list.  Writes Adam Rubin:

"Because Burke has not spent 10 days in the minors, he can only rejoin the Mets if a major league player lands on the DL. So it seems clear the Mets will play it safe with Niese and DL him."

It would be unfortunate if Niese lands on the DL as expected, but it would also lead to a wrong being righted.  Burke was sent down not because of poor performance, but because the team had to add Carlos Torres or risk losing him.  In 12.2 innings after being recalled in May, Burke allowed 4 runs on 12 hits, walked 4 and struck out 11.

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