DL expected for Niese to open season

March, 17, 2014
3/17/14
9:31
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets have not yet learned the severity of Jonathon Niese's elbow injury. And they have not yet shared their plan with Niese, so the information is sensitive. But even if Niese's elbow issue ends up being minimal, the southpaw is expected to open the season on the disabled list, a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com.

The Mets do not need a fifth starter until April 6, against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. And that would be the day Niese would be eligible to be activated from the disabled list.

Placing Niese on the DL would allow the Mets to carry an extra bench player or, less likely, an extra relief pitcher for the first five games of the season. DL trips can be backdated nine days into spring training.

Terry Collins previously has identified Bartolo Colon as the likely Opening Day starter if Niese were not ready, with Dillon Gee the alternative. But a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday that the decision is "legitimately unresolved."

Niese is in New York and is due to undergo an MRI on Monday.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187