During the Winter, the biggest story surrounding New York Mets pitcher Jonathan Niese was whether he would be the Opening Day starter in the absence of Matt Harvey, but now, Niese has encountered a problem that could potentially put the start of the 2014 season in jeopardy.
Jon Niese to MRI for shoulder pain.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 26, 2014
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese is returning to New York (from Spring Training) in order to undergo an MRI on his pitching shoulder, and this is scary news for the Mets. The 27-year-old lefty made only 24 starts as a result of rotator cuff issues last season, and the shoulder has replaced the elbow as the “worst case scenario” injury for any Major League pitcher.
Personally, I believe that Niese, when healthy, is the best pitcher on the available portion of the Mets staff, and without him, they were in serious trouble. Over more than 330 innings the past two seasons, Niese has posted an ERA in the mid-3.00′s (combining for nearly 4 fWAR), and any negative prognosis on his arm will be unfortunate for an already undermanned rotation.
A full diagnosis will likely be a day or two away, but Mets fans will hold their breath until then.