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Jon Niese throws, feels “very close to 100 percent”

Mar 6, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

Jon Niese Getty Images

Jon Niese saw his first game action since undergoing an MRI exam on his sore shoulder last week, throwing two innings in a Mets intrasquad game today.

And he seemed very happy with how things went, telling Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

I felt great. It’s a great feeling to go out there and not feel any pain in your shoulder. It was a great step forward to go out on the mound and feel very close to 100 percent.

That’s a big relief, especially considering Niese also had shoulder problems last season. Niese is still hoping to be ready for Opening Day, although he has quite a few hurdles to clear before then after throwing just 35 pitches in what the Mets called “a controlled game” today.

  1. nymets4ever - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Great news. I’d still like to see Wheeler get the nod for Opening Day just because he’s way more exciting, but the lone lefty Niese is quietly a very important part of the team as well…

  2. xdj511 - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Yes, a healthy and effective Niese is essential to the team this year, since he’s the only lefty.

  3. kappy32 - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Wow, great. It’s only a matter of time before he goes down with something else. The cynical Mets fan that I am believes this shoulder issue is just an early excuse he can point to when he falls apart come August/September. I’ve never been a big Niese supporter; I always thought he was overhyped & not much better than a solid number 4 starter. When Niese is on his game, he’s a good pitcher. He’s not spectacular, he’s good. My biggest gripe with Niese is lack of durability & stamina. It seems as though every time the calendar changes from July to August, you can almost guarantee that Niesewill either come down with an injury that forces him to miss most of the rest of the season, or he clearly runs out of steam & can’t finish the year on a strong note. It’s not some false belief, the proof is there. In 2009 he tore his hamstring & was done for the year. In 2010 he went 1-5 his last 7 starts giving up earned runs of 7, 3, 5, 3, 0, 6, 6, respectively, going more than 6 innings just once. In 2011, he made only 4 starts after July, going 1-3. In 2012 he played well down the stretch & throughout the year, his only season. Then last year he was back to his old self, shelved from June 20 through August 11. He was able to finish strong, but that is because he had almost 2 months off right in the heart of the season. What can we realistically expect from him in 2014? Based upon this track record, there is a greater chance he is shelved for a couple months or struggles down the stretch than there is of him matching his career high in season wins, 13. I’m sorry, but a guy who’s career high in wins is 13, pitching his home games at one of the best pitcher’s parks in the game, is not worthy of an Opening Day nod, nor should he be considered the ace of this staff. Niese is barely over .500 for his career (43-40), and has a 3.99 ERA in a division not necessarily known for its hitting prowess. He’s an average pitcher who is good when he is on top of his game, but along with durability & stamina issues, he is far too inconsistent & relies way too much on his cut fastball. Harvey was to serve as the changing of the guard here & even though he is out, it should still happen by giving Wheeler the Opening Day start. The Mets have been horrible of late & Niese has done nothing to distinguish himself. He shouldn’t be rewarded for his mediocre play.

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