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.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.