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Jon Niese focusing on conditioning after struggling with fatigue as a rookie

Feb 10, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

Jon Niese

Jon Niese arrived at spring training about a week before pitchers and catchers were due at Mets camp and told Dan Martin of the New York Post that his goal is to improve his conditioning after tiring down the stretch as a rookie last year:

Last year, I kind of got fatigued. I don’t think I hit a wall. It was one of those things that I felt good before and after games and even during games in the first part, but in later innings, I felt myself get fatigued a little bit. I think I’ll try to condition myself better. Maybe not throw as much or have it more controlled and that will help going deeper.

Niese carried a 3.33 ERA into mid-August, but then went 1-6 with a 7.57 ERA in his final seven starts to finish at 9-10 with a 4.20 ERA in 174 innings overall. He also struggled to go deep into his starts all season, as opponents batted .322 with a .940 OPS off Niese after his 75th pitch. Of course, durability and going through a lineup for the third time are things most 23-year-old rookies have trouble with, and Niese looks like a very nice second or third starter long term.

  1. scapistron - Feb 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    I thought “best shape of his life” was Craig’s thing.

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2011 at 10:37 PM

      The thing is, Niese isn’t in the best shape of his life yet. Aaron is merely reporting that he plans to be in the best shape of his life. Once he is in the best shape of his life, Craig will report it as he always does, and Aaron will go looking for another player who seems likely to be in the best shape of his life some time and track him for a while.

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