NEW YORK -- In the end, Jonathon Niese didn't fight the decision.
In the end, the New York Mets left-hander said he agreed with the team's decision to put him on the disabled list to try to strengthen his shoulder, even as he insisted again that he's not exactly hurt.
New York Mets
"I mean, I could pitch now," Niese said Sunday. "This isn't an injury."
The Mets called it a left shoulder strain, but it's really a break to allow Niese to strengthen a shoulder that he admits has felt fatigued in the past month. While Niese's performance didn't seem to suffer (his 2.96 ERA has him in the top 15 among National League starters), his velocity was down and the Mets saw that he was dropping his elbow in his delivery.
"He's been locating so well I don't think he needs the extra clicks [of velocity]," manager Terry Collins said. "His location has been outstanding, but we've got to get that shoulder strength back."
The Mets had spoken with Niese about a possible trip to the disabled list for several days, but he seemed resistant to the idea. Collins explained to him that because of next week's All-Star break, he'd really only be skipping one start, and could return to pitch in San Diego during the Mets' first series after the break.
The timing made it easier for the Mets to make this decision, and Dillon Gee's return from the DL made it even easier. Gee is now scheduled to start in Niese's place Wednesday against the Braves.
Collins also reminded Niese of how well he did after a midseason trip to the DL last year, although that one lasted quite a bit longer and was caused by a real injury.
Eventually Niese agreed, and even admitted that the lack of strength in the shoulder has been more of an issue than he had been willing to let on.
"It's something I can pitch through, but it's something I would have to battle through the rest of the year," he said. "It seemed each start, progressively it got more tired."
Tired, but not hurt. It's not an injury.
But he is on the DL.