For the hapless New York Mets, things continue to get worse.
During a (semi-) rare 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves, starting pitcher Jon Niese left the game with visible injury to his left, pitching shoulder. He was diagnosed with “shoulder discomfort” after the game, but as soon as he threw his 61st pitch, Niese grimaced violently and called for the dugout to be removed.
Niese has had a less-than-stellar season in 2013, and if he had previous discomfort, that could provide some explanation. His ERA has risen to 4.32 this season (3.40 in 2012), and his peripherals are all over the place, including a lower strikeout rate and a much, much higher walk rate.
Normally, shoulder injuries are the absolutely worst fear for any pitcher, as they’ve surpassed even elbow problems as technological advances (i.e. Tommy John surgery) have accounted for quicker elbow fixes. With that said, Niese’s injury could be overplayed by his visible show of emotion, and hopefully (for Mets fans), Niese will return quickly.
As far the Mets rotation is concerned, they were currently employing a mini-version of the six-man rotation and this will clear things up a bit. Zack Wheeler will join the rotation officially by next week, and for now, Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Hefner are safe. Alas, Niese was their “number 1″ starter entering the season (before being surpassed by Matt Harvey), and they desperately need him to even feign competitiveness in the NL East.