Jon Niese is healthy and ready to go

By Ryan Punzalan

Shortly after his workout yesterday afternoon, Jon Niese told reporters that his shoulder feels great and that he’s ready to pitch to season.

After suffering from a partial tear of his left rotator cuff in 2013, Niese began the 2014 campaign on the disabled list. He had two MRIs on his ailing shoulders throughout the spring before finally making his first start on April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds.

He continued to pitch in 29 more games accumulating 187.2 innings pitched, the second most of his career, while compiling a 9-11 record with a 3.40 ERA and 138 strikeouts. That being said, Niese knew he should’ve taken more precaution to his shoulder:

"There was a sharp pain in there. I think I got off the mound way too early, before I got my arm in shape, and kind of screwed things up in there. I probably should have — could have — taken the first month off last year and gotten it right. Hindsight is 20/20."

Surprisingly, Niese didn’t have an awful year, as he saw numbers improve, even so slightly, from an injury-filled 2013 year. But, for Niese health has always been a concern and he says that he hasn’t been this confident with his arm in “probably three years.”

Three years ago, Niese posted the best numbers in his career. The southpaw pitched to a 13-9 record with a 3.40 ERA. He started 30 games and racked up 155 strikeouts, while only walking 49 batters. He pitched 190.1 innings that year and is hoping to get back on that track.


With the return of Matt Harvey, the emergence of Jacob deGrom, and the up-and-coming Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, Niese knows that he can’t take this season lightly, unlike in previous years.

With the Mets having a surplus of pitchers, a string of bad starts can send him from the end of the rotation to the bullpen, or even, to another team.

Niese will be the only lefty in the Mets rotation this year, and that will be crucial for the success of the team if they are pushing for that Wild Card spot.

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