UPDATE, 12:18 PM:
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, citing multiple sources, Jonathon Niese’s MRI Monday morning in New York revealed no structural damage.
Niese was given a cortisone shot in the back of his elbow, and was cleared to resume throwing, which Rubin believes he’ll do on Wednesday.
Still, it’s likely that Niese opens the season on the disabled list, though he can return as early as April 6th if the Mets backdate his DL stint.
Although the Mets have yet to receive the results from the MRI Jonathon Niese was scheduled to undergo on Monday in New York, it’s highly likely the left-hander will open the season on the disabled list. Writes Adam Rubin:
"The Mets do not need a fifth starter until April 6, against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. And that would be the day Niese would be eligible to be activated from the disabled list."
As Rubin explains, the Mets would be able to backdate a potential Niese disabled list stint nine days (the end of spring training).
After departing Sunday’s start early, Niese explained to reporters that he had been dealing with a hyperextended elbow, and that he was taking anti-inflammatories for it.
Sep 29, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) reacts after giving up two runs to the Milwaukee Brewers during the fourth inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
He went on to note that he wanted to remain in the game, and that the pain he feels is not in the area usually associated with ligament damage (which could lead to Tommy John surgery).
Even if Jonathon Niese’s MRI comes back clean, there is absolutely no reason to rush him back in time for his Opening Day start.
Instead, the club should allow him to proceed deliberately, building up the innings that he hasn’t yet had the chance to throw due to his multiple setbacks.
Manager Terry Collins has indicated that he’ll likely start either Bartolo Colon or Dillon Gee in Niese’s stead on Opening Day, but it would certainly be interesting if he reversed course and instead handed the ball to Zack Wheeler.