Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 3/20/13
With reports earlier in the week suggesting that Johan Santana would not be ready to make his Opening Day start for the New York Mets, it was thought that Jon Niese would be likely to slide into his spot.  Santana has taken the ball for New York on Opening Day four of the past five seasons, but shoulder issues have left him unable to pitch for two weeks.  The 34-year-old lefty has reportedly resumed mound work but is likely to start the season on the disabled list. Niese, meanwhile, has been incredibly impressive this Spring, allowing just 1 ER over  3 Grapefruit League starts, good for a 0.71 ERA.  The 26-year-old’s experience and strong camp makes him a prime candidate to fill Johan’s turn in the rotation. #bbpBox_313382473864212482 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_313382473864212482 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Jon Niese will be #Mets Opening Day starter. March 17, 2013 4:12 pm via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Time has sort of dragged for Johan and the Mets from the time they were searching for MLB history as they successfully chased down the franchises first no-hitter, right up until what can now only be described as a tumultuous Spring.  According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, if Jon Niese were in fact to get the nod on Opening Day, newly signed Shaun Marcum would be set to take the ball in game 2: Photo by Michael G. Baron A team insider told ESPNNewYork.com this week that the most likely scenario beyond Jonathon Niese on Opening Day had Shaun Marcum in Game 2 and Matt Harvey in Game 3 against theSan Diego Padres, followed by Dillon Gee in the series opener against the Miami Marlins. The Mets then appeared leaning toward going back to Niese for Game 5 on regular rest before turning to Santana fill-in Jeremy Hefner.” That plan may also need revisiting as it was reported earlier today that Marcum received a ‘precautionary’ cortisone shot on Tuesday to help deal with an impingement in his right shoulder. #bbpBox_314506245216280576 a { text-decoration:none; color:#DB0F23; }#bbpBox_314506245216280576 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Sandy Alderson said Marcum’s cortisone shot was “largely precautionary” and he isn’t expecting DL for Marcum at this point. about 4 hours ago via Mobile Web (M5)ReplyRetweetFavorite @NYPost_Mets Mike Puma The Mets have yet to announce a timetable for Marcum’s return, but it’s clear that any missed time would throw a pretty big wrench into how the rotation would take shape.  Toss in the fact that David Wright and Daniel Murphy are dealing with intercostal injuries and the offense is also likely to be looking for answers when the season begins. For all the frustration that has followed New York on the injury front, it’s interesting to hear fans stay somewhat positive as they remain focused on the likes of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Matt den Dekker, Jordanny Valdespin and Bobby Parnell.  Maybe expectations have been lowered over the years or maybe Mets fans feel they once again have a core group of young players that make it easy to see the silver lining in things.
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