Now that the 2012 season has concluded for the New York Mets, we have taken a look at overall breakdowns for the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen this past season. We will now take a look at every player on the roster from A (Manny Acosta) to Y (Chris Young) as our Mets 101 Player Review series returns. In each review we will take a look at one player's 2012 performance and what role, if any, they can expect to have with the Mets in 2013. Today we will look at starting pitcher Jonathon Niese.
2012 Stats: 30 Starts, 190.1 Innings Pitched, 13-9, 3.40 ERA, 1.17 WHIP (174 Hits/ 49 Walks), 155 Strikeouts
2012 Story: Jonathon Niese entered the 2012 season the recipient of a brand new contract extension. Niese signed a five year, 25 million dollar contract extension one day prior to the season opener. The extension showed the Mets' faith in Niese's ability to contribute to the rotation for years to come, and he delivered on that promise. Niese threw a career high 190.1 innings as he was the Mets' most dependable starter not named R.A. Dickey. Niese was able to finish an entire season for the first time in his career, and he delivered his finest season yet with a career high 13 wins. Niese lowered his ERA by a full run in 2012 to 3.40, and was able to improve on his strikeout to walk ratio from the previous two seasons. Niese was able to prove his long term value to the Mets in 2012 by becoming a very dependable middle of the rotation starter.
Contract Status: Signed through 2016
Odds of Returning: 80 Percent
2013 Role: Third Starter
The only reason Jonathon Niese is not a 100 percent lock to return to the team is the value he could provide via trade. The team has a surplus of young arms at the moment, and it is possible a pitcher like Niese could become expendable via trade. As a young left hander signed to a club friendly contract, Niese could be used as bait to secure a power hitting outfielder (like Justin Upton) that the Mets could desperately use. The problem with trading Niese, however, is that he is one of the few sure things in the starting rotation. With starters Johan Santana and Dillon Gee coming off of injury, Matt Harvey developing, and the uncertain future of R.A. Dickey, Niese is the one known quantity in the rotation. Even though his name will come up in trade rumors during the winter, Niese appears likely to be a solid middle of the rotation arm for New York for years to come.
Stay tuned for Mets 101's Player Review of outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis tomorrow!
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