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.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.