Jon Niese says it felt like he was pitching with knives in his shoulder last season


Mets left-hander Jon Niese was bothered by some arm issues last season, but as these things often go, we don’t learn how painful it really was until way after the fact. According to Anthony McCarron of New York Newsday, Niese said Thursday that it felt like he was pitching with “knives” in his shoulder last season. Yikes:

So count Niese among the many Met folks with high hopes for 2015, although he knows there is much to prove, too. Part of the reason for his personal optimism is another winter highlight for Niese — he no longer feels “like there are knives in my (left) shoulder,” he said. “This year it feels normal.”

Niese’s shoulder problems were so bothersome last year that, he says now, “I probably should’ve missed the first month of the season.”

Niese suffered a partially torn rotator cuff in 2013, but he only missed about six weeks and managed to avoid surgery. He came down with what was described as elbow inflammation during spring training last year and missed Opening Day, but managed to make it back in early April. The southpaw then landed on the DL in early July with a left shoulder strain, but he was right back after the All-Star break and finished out the season. The good news is that he feels OK right now — in fact he says “he’s in the best shape he’s been in since 2008” — but it’s a good thing the Mets’ have some crazy rotation depth. They are probably going to need it.

Niese, 28, posted a 3.40 ERA and 138/45 K/BB ratio in 187 2/3 innings across 30 starts last season. He’s owed $7 million this season and $9 million next year with team options for 2017 and 2018.

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus payable on June 30, a salary of $15 million and a hotel suite on road trips.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.