Jon Niese cleared to resume throwing after follow-up exam on shoulder

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Jon Niese was diagnosed with a partial tear of his rotator cuff last month, but there’s a chance he could be back in the Mets’ rotation at some point during the second half of the season.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Niese was cleared to resume throwing after a had “a favorable follow-up exam” today with team doctors. There was some concern that surgery would be deemed necessary, so this is the best-case scenario under the circumstances. The 26-year-old left-hander will need some time to build his workload and will likely require multiple rehab starts, so he’s likely looking at a return in August if all goes well.

Niese has a 4.32 ERA and 49/33 K/BB ratio in 77 innings over 14 starts this season. The Mets signed him to a five-year, $25.5 million extension last April.

Report: Cubs sign Brian Duensing to two-year, $7 million deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brian Duensing to a two-year, $7 million contract.

Duensing, 34, spent last season with the Cubs and pitched effectively. He posted a 2.74 ERA with a 61/18 K/BB ratio across 62 1/3 innings. His 23.7 percent strikeout rate marked a career high and he didn’t sacrifice much in the way of control to do so.

According to Heyman, Duensing had offers for “significantly more money” from other teams, but chose to return to the Cubs because he enjoyed his time there in 2017. The lefty will fill the same role as last season, operating as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.