By John Delcos
Jonathan Niese, designated to be the New York Mets’ Opening Day starter, was sent to New York for a MRI on his sore shoulder.
Niese suffered a rotator cuff injury, but the team said this pain was in a different area of the shoulder.
Niese’s first exhibition start was to be March 4 against Houston, but that’s not going to happen. The Mets won’t have any word on Niese’s return until after the MRI is read.
* Niese was to be named Opening Day starter against Washington, March 31. Of course, that’s contingent on how much time he will miss. He’s to be followed by Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee (also against Washington) and Zack Wheeler and the fifth starter (Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lannan or Jenrry Mejia (against Cincinnati). The Mets’ first two series are at home.
* Colon (tightness in his calf) and outfielder Eric Young (tightness in his side) were held out of practice today.
* General manger Sandy Alderson acknowledges Stephen Drew being a ``fit’’ for the Mets at shortstop, but said he’s asking too much,
* Terry Collins said Wilmer Flores will get time at shortstop, but as of now the job belongs to Ruben Tejada.
* Outfielder Matt den Dekker is slowed by a stomach ailment.
* Mejia will oppose Gee in Thursday’s intrasquad game.
***John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Mets and Yankees since 1998. He is a Hall of Fame voter and owns and operates a Mets website, New York Mets Report.com