WASHINGTON -- After throwing a 39-pitch bullpen session, Jonathon Niese pronounced himself fit to reenter the rotation Saturday against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Niese missed one start with what was labeled shoulder tendinitis, although his description sounded more like an impingement.
New York Mets
"It's nice to throw a bullpen without feeling any soreness or pain," Niese said. "I kept the arm angle up and made some pitches in the bullpen that had probably 85 or 90 percent intensity and felt really good. I'm pretty confident that I feel good. How it felt before, in between each start, was night-and-day difference from how it felt today. It was good to get that rest."
Niese described the issue that caused him to miss one start as "some sharp pains in my shoulder -- kind of like that irritating, nagging feeling, real sore. In some movements, when I moved my shoulder, I would get that sharp pain. It would catch."
CENTER ATTENTION: Terry Collins plans to give Juan Lagares at least a two-day run in center field over Rick Ankiel, although that appears more motivated by pitching matchups than a resolve to get Lagares action. Right-hander Dan Haren is more effective against lefty hitters than righty hitters because of his emphasis on a cutter, so it made sense to play the righty-hitting Lagares over the lefty-hitting Ankiel, according to Collins. For that same reason, righty-hitting Marlon Byrd starts over lefty-hitting Jordany Valdespin in right field.
Lagares should again start Thursday with the Mets facing left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
Collins said Lagares tends to go outside the strike zone. And while that still led to solid contact in the minors, the manager did express concern that the scouting report at the major league level would be exploited and the rookie would see fewer pitches he could handle.
ELBOWED OUT: Collins suggested Jeurys Familia might be out for the season, although that might have been too strong considering Familia was only due to undergo surgery today to remove a bone spur and loose bodies in his right elbow. Cleanouts, Frank Francisco's notwithstanding, generally take no more than six weeks of recovery time. Collins acknowledged the loss, however long, is a blow to the Mets. The manager said that in spring training he envisioned Familia emerging as the eighth-inning reliever by the end of the season.
ON THE SHELF: The Nats placed Stephen Strasburg (lat) on the DL.