New York Mets News

A Potential Injury To Jon Niese Also Poses Problems For The Bullpen

By Michael Lecolant

Good teams are prepared teams.  This is why you can never have enough pitching.

If Sunday’s outing was any indication, Jon Niese, in all likelihood will not be available for Opening Day.  He is now juggling the questionable status of his shoulder and elbow.  Hopefully, this is just a minor scare.  In the event he does miss time, it is never too early for speculating what options the Mets have in their starting rotation.

August 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jon Niese throws against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Daisuke Matsuzaka was already being looked upon to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.  After Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, and Bartolo Colon, Niese’s status might rekindle a battle between Jenrry Mejia and John Lannan.

With Josh Edgin not surviving the first round of cuts, John Lannan would give the Mets a desperately needed second left-hander in the bullpen.  That’s the way the Mets were leaning.

Now, the Mets are faced with potentially needing a left-hander to replace Niese in the rotation as well.  Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson may have to reconsider Josh Edgin.  As it stands, Scott Rice is the only lefty committed to the bullpen.

Reconsidering Edgin would also allow the Mets to steer clear of promoting Rafael Montero, keep a lefty in the rotation with Lannan, and still be able to reinforce the bullpen with Torres.

That said, there’s little reason why Montero shouldn’t be considered for the rotation in late April – once the Mets guarantee another year of team control.

With highly touted Noah Syndergaard and Montero both in similar situations regarding Super-2 status, Thor is the least likely to see Flushing before June.  In the event Niese has real arm troubles, why not do what’s called for, and make an exception on one?  To his credit, Montero has 16 starts at the AAA level on his resume.  Syndergaard only has 11 games of AA experience.

How do you feel the Mets should address this?

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