SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two hurlers going in two different directions.
The New York Mets got some optimistic news regarding one pitcher and were still awaiting word on another.
Assistant general manager John Ricco said before Monday night’s game in San Francisco that left-hander Jonathon Niese has been cleared to start throwing again. Shaun Marcum, however, had his right hand examined by a specialist in St. Louis and will miss his next scheduled start Saturday.
Ricco said a new MRI exam on Niese showed the inflammation in his rotator cuff was gone and just “normal wear and tear” for a pitcher remained. The team had previously said he had a “partial tear.”
Ricco said the way team physician Dr. David Altchek described it, “The initial MRI was done shortly after he pitched and he definitely had some inflammation in there and fluid, which indicated an injury. With all of that inflammation and fluid, it made it tougher to read. So now that that’s all calmed down and he got a good look at it, there’s some normal wear and tear that a pitcher would show but there’s nothing that he termed a new injury.”
Niese was headed to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to resume a throwing program. While Ricco didn’t give an exact timetable for Niese’s return, the team expects him back at some point this season.
Niese left in the fourth inning of his last start, a 4-3 Mets win at Atlanta on June 20. He is 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 starts this season.
Marcum experienced tingling and numbness in his right hand during a 7-6 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday night, when he allowed 11 hits and five runs in five innings. He had experienced similar symptoms in his previous start and had an MRI last week.
Marcum is 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) this season. Ricco said more details regarding Marcum’s injury — and an official announcement on a corresponding roster move — could come Tuesday.
Right-hander Gonzalez Germen was on his way to San Francisco from Triple-A Las Vegas, indicating Marcum is likely headed to the disabled list. Germen is 3-3 with a 5.52 ERA for Las Vegas.
With an off day Thursday, ace Matt Harvey will start on regular rest against Pittsburgh on Saturday in Marcum’s place. That makes it more likely Harvey will not start — or perhaps even pitch — in Tuesday night’s All-Star game at Citi Field in New York.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, the NL All-Star skipper, has indicated he made his mind up days earlier on who will start. Bochy is deciding between Harvey and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who allowed one run in eight innings to lead Los Angeles past San Francisco 4-1 on Sunday.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he hasn’t had any conversations with Bochy or Major League Baseball about Harvey’s availability. But, Collins said, if Harvey’s pitch count is high Saturday it’s less likely he’d pitch — much less start — in the All-Star game.
Collins, who is also on Bochy’s NL coaching staff, said he doesn’t anticipate any issues regarding Harvey’s status.
“You mean is there going to be a fight between Bochy and I? No, I don’t think so. I’m overmatched,” Collins cracked. “I’m sure it will be well thought out by then.”
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