My player projections continue with…
Jon Niese, LHSP
Jonathon Niese has shown some promise during his first two full seasons in the big leagues. The 2005 7th round draft pick has a running fastball and a big, rounded hook that has led to the occasional comparison to Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee.
However, in each season, Niese has followed a promising first half with a dismal second. In the first half of 2011, Jon was 8-7 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. In the second half, he started only 9 games, and went 3-4 with a 5.67 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.
The knock on Niese seems to be his conditioning. This offseason, Niese made an unusual move to try to rectify the problem. He got a nose job. Former Met Carlos Beltran offered to pay for a procedure that would allow Niese to breathe easier, which would lead to the ability to work out longer and harder. His formidable beak doesn’t look much different, but Niese says it works much better than it used to.
If the surgery helps Jon’s conditioning to the point where he can stay healthy all year, while putting up some innings, the Mets will certainly be able to breathe easier.
Projection: 12-10, 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
FanGraphs: 12-10, 3.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Up next: Dillon Gee