Fernando Nieve is the "leading candidate" to start Saturday in Milwaukee, Jerry Manuel said.
New York Mets
Manuel noted Nieve did not necessarily lose the fifth starter's job to Jon Niese in spring training -- just that he was more valuable in the pen.
The decision to start Nieve on Saturday will be confirmed assuming Nieve goes unused in Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Nieve will throw a bullpen session in late in the game in preparation for Saturday if it's clear his services won't be required.
"They said that they have in mind for me to start Saturday," Nieve said. "... I went to spring training to get a spot in the rotation, so now I have the chance to be there. I hope to do good and make a good impression for them to keep me in the rotation. The main thing in spring training was to try to make the team as a starter. When they told me they wanted me in the bullpen, I was excited, because I was going to make the team. The goal is to be on the team at that point. But now if I have the chance to be in the rotation, I would like to be there for a long time."
Niese will get a minor league rehab start as soon as this weekend, according to Manuel. It's clear Niese will then regain a rotation spot, so Nieve would have to unseat Hisanori Takahashi or R.A. Dickey to remain in the rotation for any length of time.
Dickey suggested his left elbow would not prevent him from his next start, Sunday against Milwaukee. He took a line drive to the elbow Tuesday on a line drive from Ryan Howard.
"It's ugly looking, but it feels good," Dickey said.