Mets lefty Jonathon Niese headed to DL after feeling pop in left knee

ByAdam Rubin ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese is headed to the disabled list after feeling a pop in his left knee and departing Tuesday's start against the St. Louis Cardinals after recording only one out in an eventual 7-4 win.

Niese will be further examined by team doctors on Wednesday in New York.

The Mets plan to promote right-handed reliever Erik Goeddel from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Niese's roster spot.

Right-hander Robert Gsellman is likely to step into the rotation on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, according to manager Terry Collins. Gsellman earned the win in his major league debut in relief of Niese.

The Mets had been aware of Niese dealing with knee discomfort, but felt it would not hinder him in the showdown with the Cardinals, who occupy the second wild-card spot that the Mets are chasing.

Niese proceeded to walk two of the first three batters he faced. He then departed after surrendering a run-scoring single to Brandon Moss with one out.

It matched the shortest start of Niese's career. He also departed a July 4, 2014 game at Texas after recording one out when he was struck by a line drive in his lower back.

"After the second hitter, I saw him kind of reach down to his left knee," Collins said. "And then, the next guy, I saw him walk off the mound. I told [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen], 'Hey, I think he's limping.' The next hitter, it was definite. And that's when we got Gsellman up. We had to go out, and he said it's killing him, so we took him out."

Said Niese: "It progressively got worse and worse. I think that curveball I threw to Moss was the one where I felt a little pop in there. Every pitch there was just a sharp, shooting pain down my leg. I've got to get it fixed. I can't keep going out there. There's a lot of pain. It's altering my mechanics. I'm not able to stay behind each pitch. I'm not able to locate. I'm just really not helping myself out, or the team, when I can't compete out there when I'm hurt."

Niese had been dealing with the issue since June while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was reacquired by the Mets on Aug. 1 in a swap for fellow left-hander Antonio Bastardo.

Niese indicated that he had the knee drained before the All-Star break and felt OK for a while. It again flared up in recent weeks.

He won't know until Wednesday's exam in New York whether surgery will be required.

"I think I lead the league in MRIs on this thing," Niese said. "I had a couple of MRIs this year, a few cortisone shots."

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