Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Jon Niese is a problem. He’s having a terrible start to his season.
He starts today on the heels of the worst two-start stretch of his career, during which he allowed 16 runs, 15 hits and nine walks in just over 8 innings.
Niese told MLB.com that he’s been working primarily on his mechanics this week, “aiming to keep himself tall and straight on the hill.”
He hasn’t had a good feel for his off-speed pitches this season, a person close to the team told me last week at Citi Field. And so, he’s not confident, making unnecessary in-game adjustments and becoming too predictable to the opposition. In other words, he’s a mess. The person I spoke to used to say the same things about Mike Pelfrey, for what it’s worth.
Niese can get out of this. He’ll find his rhythm, regain confidence in his curve ball, and he’ll be fine. It just needs to happen sooner than later. He was supposed to be one of the rotation’s anchor this year; but, more importantly, and he was supposed to be one of the rotation’s anchors beyond this year.