Taking the mound tonight for the Mets is Jon Niese. He’s 23 and a lefty. This excites me.
I was at Niese’s last start, August 5, 2009, and witnessed him go down in a heap as he tore his hamstring. This saddened me.
But tonight, he’ll return to the mound as the Mets “No. 3” starter (The rotation order is stupid, see: TedQuarters). More than any other player this season, I’ll be rooting the hardest for Niese. Why’s that, you may ask? Because he could be the future.
Yeah, I know. Eight games and a 1.613 WHIP shouldn’t get a guy excited like this. But he’s one of the young pitchers getting a chance in 2010. He’s getting a chance to prove himself, to work at the MLB level and hopefully paving the way for some of the other young arms (including Jenrry Mejia) to take over the rotation over the next few years.
Niese, smushed nose and all, is easy to root for because everyone loves a homegrown prospect. So join me in rooting just a little bit harder for Niese this season. Let’s hope it’s a good one.