Niese May Be Out for the Year

Minutes after an awkward stretch while covering first base, Jonathan Niese was removed from today’s ballgame with a severe ankle injury. Niese was immediately sent for an MRI, and during the postgame, manager Jerry Manuel said that “…we suspect it to be a tear”.

A “torn” ankle would be terrible, terrible news for the young lefthander, and would certainly end his season. Further, it could knock him out of action for 6-8 months. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the MRI comes back with a better report than the Mets suspect. Though, what worries me is the Mets have usually erred on the side of optimism.

In addition to losing Niese, Gary Sheffield also left the game after re-aggravating his hamstring. As expected, he’s listed as “day to day”. A few days ago, Jerry Manuel made it clear that Sheffield would not play in day games after night games. Despite this, he allowed Sheff to play after the two had a conversation last night. According to Manuel:

“…. he was very adamant about playing today, that he wanted to play. And the day game / night game for him, normally means that if there is a stretch of games — say we have five or six games in a row, and then we have a day game — then that becomes an issue. But we did not have that type of stretch since he went on the DL.”

Depending on Niese’s MRI, we should expect to see Niese go on the DL and a position player come up from the minors, now that both Sheffield and Luis Castillo are “day to day”.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude August 6, 2009 at 10:11 am
    The season of woe continues.

    When is Jerry every going to get it through his thick skull that he is in charge of determining who should play and who should not play, not the players? By allowing Sheffield to talk his way into the lineup, it’s blatantly clear that Jerry still hasn’t learned anything from the Ryan Church, JJ Putz, John Maine, or Jose Reyes fiascos of the past. How many times does it take for a mouse to realize that, when the cheese is electrified, you can’t eat it? Yet Jerry keeps getting zapped and doesn’t learn his lesson. It’s the boneheaded stuff like this that makes him as much to blame for the Mets’ debacle of a season as anybody within the organization.

    As for Niese, his injury is just a crying shame. Though not projected to be one, for the past month Niese was easily performing like a top of the rotation starter for AAA and the Mets. At the very least he was garnering some excellent trade value, if the Mets opted to go that route in the offseason. As it is now, there’s likely no way any team accepts a trade with him involved that will fetch the Mets equal value in return, and his status for 2010 is extremely hazy, as who knows if he can (ever) return as successful as he had been pitching this season. When will this black cloud ever remove itself from the Mets’ sky? Why can’t it just move to the next borough and hang over the Yankees for a while – lord knows they haven’t been chased by a black cloud since the early 90s. Isn’t it their turn yet?