Jon Niese continues to mature, evolving into an elite pitcher

Jon Niese 1 polaroidIn yesterday’s 7-3 win over the Marlins, Jon Niese allowed one earned run with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings.

Niese faced 27 batters and threw 100 pitches, 68 of which were strikes. He has now thrown six or more innings in each his last 22 starts, the longest current streak in the Major Leagues.

“I just think he’s really growing into being a pitcher that everybody thought he was going to be,” Terry Collins said after the game. “He’s not overthrowing. We all know if he wants to, he can go 92, 93. He’s pitching at 90, 91, 89 because he’s locating, he’s trying to get the ball to move, he’s trying to move the ball around the strike zone, and that’s pitching.”

Dating back to last June, Niese has made 21 consecutive starts in which he’s allowed three walks or less.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Niese just continues to impress, and get better and better with each start. He has learned to command his entire repertoire, he has increased the use of his change-up – and is throwing it for strikes – making it an impressive compliment to the rest of his arsenal. Last year, he didn’t really turn to his change-up much, although it was a pitch he was working on throughout the entire season. Now that he can through the change-up for strikes, he has four very effective pitches to work with: a four-seam fastball, a cutter, a heavy curveball and the change. In addition, the other three pitches are only getting better for him and he’s getting better at adjusting off of each pitch throughout the game. The sum total of this is a maturing and evolving pitcher, and a guy who is quietly becoming one of the elite pitchers in the league.