Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Spring 2012 [Print without images]

Monday, February 20, 2012
Mets' Jon Niese gets nose job

By Adam Rubin
ESPNNewYork.com

Jon Niese
Jon Niese on Monday (left), and his pre-rhinoplasty profile (right).

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Before Carlos Beltran was traded to the San Francisco Giants last July, he playfully told New York Mets left-hander Jon Niese, "Hey, we need to get you a new nose."

Beltran offered to pay. Now he might be finding a bill in the mail soon, according to Niese.

Originally motivated by aesthetics, Niese got a nose job in October.

"He wanted me to have a new nose," Niese said about Beltran. "So he offered to pay for it. I was just like, 'All right.' Then it turned into seeing doctors and to getting it fixed."

An originally unintended byproduct of the rhinoplasty procedure is improved breathing, Niese said Monday, upon reporting to Mets camp.

"It's helped a lot with my running," he said. "It helps with my working out. As far as the mound, I'm not sure."

Niese, 25, ended last season on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side. He went 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts).

Niese is entrenched in the 2012 rotation that also is projected to include Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee.

"I wouldn't consider myself a veteran," Niese said. "But it feels good to have a couple of years under my belt. Now it's just taking it easy and going about my business as usual."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.