Bartolo Colon or Jon Niese will transition to a relief role this week
Mets manager Terry Collins shed some more light on his postseason pitching plans on Saturday afternoon, although in a subtle way.
Collins said on Saturday he intends to send one of Bartolo Colon or Jon Niese to the bullpen upon clinching the National League East in an effort to test them in a relief role.
It’s not clear if both will be sent to the bullpen over the next week, but Collins suggested this assignment would be in lieu of starting during the final seven games of the year.
Colon has made one relief appearance this season, although it was his first since 2011 while with the Yankees. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Red Sox in late August. He has made seven relief appearances in his 18-year career.
Niese, on the other hand, has made only one relief appearance in his career, and not since 2011. Collins has said previously Niese was not a candidate to go to the bullpen.
Collins reaffirmed on Friday night Noah Syndergaard will be in the playoff rotation. He will join Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and likely Steven Matz in the rotation as well.
That leaves Colon and Niese on the outside looking in, although one figures to be in the bullpen in a long-relief role.