Niese On Deck, Redding Looking Strong

ed feverCorrespondent IMay 7, 2009

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL - MARCH 01:  Starting pitcher Jonathan Niese #62 of the New York Mets pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a Spring Training game at Tradition Field on March 1, 2008 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Dodgers 1-0.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Jonathan Niese will get the start tomorrow night against the Pirates, Niese has struggled in AAA with a record of 0-2 and a 6.55 ERA, but this start is as much to do with not creating another Figgy fiasco as it is seeing what the young lefty has.

Nelson Figueroa would probably befuddle a young team like the Pirates but after the start what would the Mets do, place him on waivers again and risk losing their best number seven starter.
Tim Redding is almost ready to return from the disabled list and whoever takes the start will probably be losing the roster spot to the veteran, who was signed in the off season to be a starter.
I'm sure the organization wants to see if Niese is one of those pitchers who plays to the level of his competition, one of those rare guys who has awful numbers in the minors, despite obvious potential and then comes to the majors and is lights out.
But Niese's surprise start is all about the roster, by the next time the vacant rotational spot comes around, Redding will more then likely returned to the big league club. Redding has been strengthening his shoulder during a rehab assignment and in his first start in AAA, he had a very strong outing....

"Maybe he was pressing a little bit," Minaya said. "Like a lot of young guys, maybe he's thinking every outing, if it's a good one, he'd be back in the majors. His command got much better the last couple of outings." source Newsday

Tim Redding, who had been signed to a $2.25 million guaranteed contract during the offseason, looks ready to contribute at the major-league level. Redding limited Lehigh Valley to one run on six hits and a walk while striking out five on Wednesday night in a six-inning rehabilitation start with Triple-A Buffalo. Redding's fastball sat at 86-89 mph, and topped out at 91 mph. He threw 58 of 85 pitches for strikes. source Daily News