Mets LHP Jon Niese has been cleared to resume throwing after undergoing an exam Monday in New York, multiple sources with ties to the team said (ESPN, Mar. 17).
Niese left Sunday’s game with pain in his elbow. He later said he may have hyperextended or simply irritated it during the game (Newsday, Mar. 17).
He received a cortisone injection in the back of his left elbow, to address inflammation, elbow ligaments are fully intact, and he is expected to resume throwing Wednesday (ESPN, Mar. 17).
Niese is still expected to start the season on the disabled list, according to a team insider (ESPN, Mar. 17), so he can build up innings and arm strength lost from missing time this spring.
He will be eligible to return to action on April 6, which would coincide with the first time the team is need of a fifth starting pitcher in its rotation. In place of Niese on the Opening Day roster, the Mets could move to carry an extra bench player or reliever.
In the event Niese needs additional time on the disabled list, John Lannan or Jenrry Mejia would likely fill the open slot in the rotation.
Bartolo Colon or Dillon Gee would be the team’s Opening Day starting pitcher, if Niese starts the year on the disabled list, Collins said earlier in spring training.
Niese had an MRI on his shoulder earlier this spring. He missed several starts last season as a result of a torn rotator cuff.
The team’s pitching coach, Dan Warthen, intends to analyze recent footage of Niese and check for any unintended changes to his delivery, Collins said Sunday (Wall Street Journal, Mar. 16).