Due to an ongoing elbow problem, Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese will open the season on the disabled list, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He received a cortisone injection earlier this week in an effort to alleviate inflammation.
Niese, 27, had a shoulder problem earlier in camp and an MRI showed no structural damage in his elbow earlier this week. Rubin says the team plans to have Niese return to the rotation on April 6, their sixth game of the season. He just needs more time to prepare.
With Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery) and Niese both sidelined, the Mets currently have right-hander Dillon Gee penciled in as their opening day starter according to Rubin. Nothing if final yet. Bartolo Colon would be the other option.
Gee, 27, went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA (98 ERA+) and a 3.02 K/BB in 32 starts and 199 innings last season. He has progressively lowered his ERA from 4.43 in 2011 to 4.10 in 2012 to 3.62 in 2013.
Regardless of whether Gee or Colon gets the ball, he will be the team's fourth different opening day starter in the last four years, joining Niese (2013), Johan Santana (2012) and Mike Pelfrey (2011).
The Mets open their season on Monday, March 31 against the Nationals at home in Citi Field.