UPDATE II: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese will travel to New York to be examined by team doctors tomorrow.
UPDATE: According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, the Mets announced that Niese exited with left shoulder discomfort.
8:44 PM: Jon Niese left tonight’s start against the Braves in the bottom of the fourth inning with an apparent injury. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Niese winced after throwing a pitch and David Lennon of New York Newsday notes that he appeared to say “shoulder” when a team trainer came out to the mound. That’s just speculation for now, though.
It’s worth noting that Niese was skipped in the rotation late last month with left shoulder tendinitis. Coincidentally, Mets manager Terry Collins told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal earlier today that it was no longer an issue.
Coming off a career-best 3.40 ERA last season, Niese has a 4.32 ERA and 49/33 K/BB ratio in 77 inning across 14 starts this season. The Mets were eventually going to have to bump somebody from the rotation to make room for Zack Wheeler, but an injury to Niese isn’t the ideal way to make that happen.
Niese, 26, signed a five-year, $29.5195 million extension with the Mets last April and is owed $5 million next season, $7 million in 2015, and $9 million in 2016. His contract also includes club options for 2017 and 2018.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.