Niese, d’Arnaud, Duda Played Today in the GCL

By Danny Abriano

Jonathon Niese made his first rehab appearance this morning for the GCL Mets, Travis d’Arnaud continued to shake off the rust while playing 9 innings behind the plate, and Lucas Duda got the start in left field.

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, who has been strengthening his shoulder after rotator cuff discomfort, started the game and pitched 2 innings.  His line is immaterial at this point, but here it is anyway: 2 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 0 walks and 1 strikeout.  Niese kept the ball down, as evidenced by the 6 groundouts and 0 flyouts he generated.

It’s not yet clear if Niese will make another rehab outing for the GCL Mets or move up another level or two.  Either way, his 20 day rehab clock has now started, so (barring a setback) he’ll be back in the Mets’ rotation by mid-August at the latest.

Duda, who has been on the disabled list since straining his intercostal, started in left field and went 0 for 4 at the plate.  With the big league outfield set right now (Young in left, Lagares in center, Byrd in right), it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Duda when he returns to the Mets.

d’Arnaud, who has been rehabbing in the GCL since being cleared to play after breaking his foot in mid-April, played the full game behind the plate and raked while at the plate.  He finished 3 for 5 with a double, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI’s.

Every beat writer has been saying over and over that d’Arnaud won’t be promoted to the Mets until September, but that seems like a lazy answer.  d’Arnaud is healthy, and he was deemed major league ready during the middle of last season.  If he’s physically sound (as he appears to be), he should be called up to the majors as soon as he fully shakes the rust off.  d’Arnaud needs big league exposure, and there’s no reason to keep him in the minors for five weeks just for the sake of it.

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