By John Delcos
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The New York Mets received good news Thursday when the MRI on Jon Niese’s pitching shoulder came back clean. Most times when a pitcher complains of a dead arm as Niese did, the issue is more weakness than injury, which is the diagnosis in this case.
This was the best possible news for the Mets, who have plenty of issues already without having to worry about losing their No. 1 starter.
This was a scare to be sure, but what it serves as is a reminder starting pitching is scarce, meaning they better be careful if they are considering dealing a starter, even on the minor level, for shortstop Nick Franklin.
Reportedly, Seattle is asking for starting pitching for Franklin, an infielder who became expendable with the Mariners’ signing of Robinson Cano. The Mets turned down trade overtures for Niese in the past, but this time he wasn’t on the Mariners’ wish list.
Niese was examined Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan after complaining of shoulder soreness the day after throwing batting practice. He wanted the exam for his peace of mind because he missed two months last season with a partially torn rotator cuff.
Niese will miss his first exhibition start, Tuesday against Houston, but could resume throwing this weekend.
Manager Terry Collins said Niese will be the Mets’ Opening Day starter, and didn’t back off that Wednesday.
ON DECK: Intrasquad game.
***John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Mets and Yankees since 1998. He is a Hall of Fame voter and owns and operates a Mets website, New York Mets Report.com