Jon Niese scratched from Saturday start with shoulder injury

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Jon Niese will not make his scheduled Saturday start because of a shoulder injury, the Mets announced.

Niese will be replaced by Collin McHugh, who’s struggled in brief stints with the Mets but has a solid track record in the minors.

Niese’s last start was Monday and he tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Yankees, but earlier this season the left-hander pitched through neck problems that altered his mechanics. Overall this year Niese has a 4.40 ERA and 35/28 K/BB ratio in 61 innings, striking out a career-low 5.1 per nine innings and walking a career-high 4.1 per nine innings.

UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese has been diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis and will miss “at least” one start. He’s apparently been pitching through discomfort for a while now.

Bryce Harper activated from the disabled list

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The Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list.

They were expected to activate Harper yesterday but they didn’t because Harper was suffering from an illness. He’s better today so he should be in the lineup against the Phillies.

Harper has been out since August when he slipped on a wet first base bag and was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee. That interrupted an MVP-caliber season in which he was hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. While the postseason awards are out of his reach, the Nats will be content to get him back up to speed in time for what looks to be a first round playoff matchup against the Chicago Cubs.

Someone stole Trevor Bauer’s drone

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Last year Trevor Bauer‘s playoff availability — and performance — was impacted in a major way by a drone injury. Specifically, Bauer lacerated his pinky on the outside of his right hand while repairing one of the drones he designs, builds and flies.

Now, a little over a week before the Indians begin the defense of their American League pennant, Bauer is embroiled in further drone drama. He tweeted this afternoon that his drone “IronMan” has been stolen. He has implored the public for Iron Man’s safe return so that he need not risk his pinky finger with yet another October drone injury:

I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the Indians themselves stole the drone so that Bauer does not mess with it anymore until the season is over. They need him too badly.