Saturday, September 29, 2012
Next for Niese: heart procedure planned
By Adam Rubin
ATLANTA -- With Jon Niese's season now complete, the left-hander plans to proceed with a procedure early this offseason to permanently correct the rapid heartbeat that again arose during the first half.
Niese told ESPNNewYork.com that he expects to have the heart procedure known as "ablation" performed at the Cleveland Clinic, although he has yet to confirm a date.
"It'll be like an in-and-out thing," Niese said. "It's like a three-day recovery. I go in and get it done and go home."
Niese had been pulled from a June 3 game against the St. Louis Cardinals after tossing six scoreless innings as a precaution because he experienced a rapid heartbeat during the game. It was the same issue that forced Niese from a game last season at Texas as well.
He originally considered having the procedure performed during the All-Star break because of the short recovery time, but it was eventually tabled until after the season. Niese said the rapid heartbeat did not resurface during any of his second-half starts.
"They go in there and crimp nerves that spike it," Niese said, explaining how the area of the heart muscle that causes the rapid heartbeat is destroyed through the medical procedure. The procedure can be performed via a catheter or an invasive surgical procedure.
As for his season, Niese finished 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA after limiting Atlanta to one run in seven innings in the Mets' 3-1 win Friday night.
"The biggest thing for me was being able to stay healthy," Niese said about his season.
Niese had signed a five-year, $25.5 million deal on the eve of Opening Day. Asked if having the security made him more at ease this year, increased pressure on him or had no effect, Niese said: "I don't know. When I toe the rubber, I just try to block everything out and focus on the glove and execute a pitch."
After logging a career-high 190 1/3 innings in 2012, Niese said there are still advancements to be made. He would like to further up his innings count, although it is worth noting that the Mets' six-man rotation during the final couple of months did contribute to a lower total.
"Just build off this," he said. "Obviously I'm never satisfied with the numbers I put up. Obviously with what R.A. (Dickey) has been doing this year, having a season like that is something to look forward to. I would have liked to have got to 200 innings, maybe 15 wins, a couple of extra starts. That's just the way it goes. I try to do what I can to help the team out. They thought that was helping the team out."