As expected the Mets have placed Jon Niese on the disabled list after the left-hander exited last night’s start with shoulder pain.
Niese got off to a terrible start this season while pitching through neck and shoulder problems, but put together a very effective stretch of late with a 1.93 ERA and 23/11 K/BB ratio in five starts since mid-May.
Considering this isn’t the first time Niese has experienced shoulder soreness this season the Mets figure to be pretty cautious with any return timetable, although nothing has been announced officially yet. Niese signed a $30 million extension with the Mets last spring that puts him under team control through 2018.
UDPATE: Manager Terry Collins downplayed the severity of Niese’s injury, but assistant general manager John Ricco just told reporters that the left-hander has a partially torn rotator cuff. No surgery for now, but it’s certainly not a minor injury.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.