The Mets are probably making Fernando Nieve a starter

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fernando nieve headshot mets.jpgI was rather surprised to see Jerry Manuel call Fernando Nieve into last night’s game against the Phillies. The Mets had a nice lead, Nieve has been overworked this year and if there was ever a situation for a mopup guy, that was it.  Turns out, however, that there may have been a method to the madness: It was a side-session for Nieve, who will likely be called on to start Saturday night’s game against the Brewers.

That’s what Jerry Manuel said after last night’s game, anyway, calling Nieve “the leading candidate” to get the call, and saying that “he deserves a shot.”

Which may be a good thing for him.  Nieve is still way up near the top in games pitched this year, and moving him to the rotation could ease up his workload a bit. More pitches but less often, don’t you know.  As it is he has struggled lately, maybe because he’s tired.

Quite the reshuffling of the Mets rotation in this last week.  So far it’s worked wonderfully, with R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi dominating what is supposed to be the NL’s best offense the last two nights.  Milwaukee has a powerful offense too, and I’m curious to see how Nieve does.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.