Published on March 6th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine0
Jonathon Niese Roughed Up By Venezuela
Jonathon Niese was roughed up in this afternoon’s exhibition game against the All-Star casted Venezuelan WBC team. Venezuela, boasting a lineup that consists of Triple Crown Award winner Miguel Cabrera, 2011 National League Batting Champion Carlos Gonzalez, and All-Stars Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Pablo Sandoval, was able to shell Niese for six hits and four runs over 2 1/3 innings before being replaced by Carlos Torres. Although Niese only surrendered two runs during his tenure this afternoon, he left Carlos Gonzalez and Salvador Perez on base and both were able to score on Carlos Torres’ behalf (a ground-out by Gerardo Parra scored Gonzalez, and Perez would score on a ground-rule double by Omar Infante).
The exhibition game currently in progress at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie has seen each member of Venezuela notch a hit through the first two innings (the only exceptions being Gerado Para and Martin Prado, both of whom have drawn walks). The star studded team is among the strongest in the tournament and seems poised to make a run for the championship.
When looking at Jonathon Niese’s outing, it’s important to remember several factors that will help to ease one’s mind when they examine the slotted Opening Day starter:
- It’s March 6th.
- It’s March 6th against Team Venezuela
- It’s March 6th against a Venezuelan team that has more established Major League outfielders in the fifth slot of their lineup than the Mets do in their entire lineup.
- It’s March 6th. Relax.
Did someone mention that it’s only March 6th? Well, if not, one can always check the calendar for reassurance. Regardless, there are negatives to be taken away from this start as well.
- Jonathon Niese is well aware that one of his biggest issues is the “big inning” and has worked hard to prevent that. In 2012, several would-be quality outings turned into below-average outings because of the long ball or inability to command the strike zone.
- Joanthon Niese struggled with his control in allowing two walks and six hits, and has now allowed nine hits in 5 1/3 innings this spring.
One can assert that with Niese being penciled in as the Opening Day starter that a performance like this should be unacceptable.
To those, I dully remind them to look at the calendar and continue dreaming about April 1st. It certainly can’t come soon enough.
Photo Credit: Michael Baron