Jonathon Niese has reportedly been cleared for throwing after undergoing an MRI in New York on Monday, but he could still open the season on the disabled list.
Niese was forced out of Sunday’s game after just two innings with discomfort in his elbow. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that team doctors examined Niese and found the ligament is intact. He received a cortisone shot to relieve inflammation and is expected to start throwing again on Wednesday.
Rubin writes that it is the “likelihood” that Jonathon Niese begins the season on the DL. Rubin does not attribute that to Mets sources, so perhaps that is his speculation. But he points out that the Mets will not need a fifth starter until April 6, which would be when Niese would be eligible to be activated.
It would make sense to leave Niese in Florida and carry another player while he regains his arm strength. After all, Niese has made just two starts this spring — the same number of MRIs he has had. When you add in his partial rotator cuff tear that cost him two months last season, it is clear Jonathon Niese is just not right. It will be interesting to see what the Mets get out of him this season.
As far as who will be the Opening Day pitcher in Niese’s possible absence, the job will likely go to newest Met Bartolo Colon.