Jon Niese feels fine after being struck in the left rib cage area by a line drive in the first inning of the game on Friday.
Niese insisted to manager Terry Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez that he was fine and wanted to remain in the game. But despite tossing only 12 pitches, Niese was pulled from the game and replaced by Carlos Torres.
Niese was not even allowed to throw a warm-up pitch, as Ramirez was concerned that he may have suffered a fractured rib.
X-rays were negative and Niese was diagnosed with a simple bruise. “I knew it was just a bruise. It kind of went away there,” he said. “I wanted to stay in there.”
The Mets lefthander now wants to come back early and get two more starts before the All-Star break, according to a report on ESPN New York.
Adam Rubin says it could spell bad news for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who could now end up in the bullpen without making another start.
Dillon Gee should be ready to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, which is when Niese’s official next turn would be. So Niese can merely jump into Matsuzaka’s slot a day or two earlier.
Earlier this week and again on Friday, Sandy Alderson said the team has no desire to trade Niese, who is currently 5-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
“We like Jonathon,” Alderson told CBS Sports. “He’s the only lefty in the rotation. We’d be hard-pressed to trade Niese.”
Niese has been the most consistent member of the starting rotation this season and has a very team friendly deal, earning $5 million this season, $7 million in ’15 and $9 million in ’16. Additionally the Mets have team options for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.