Mets starter Jon Niese reported to yesterday’s camp with a whole new look. He came in about 10 pounds lighter, but the real story is his new nose. Yes, apparently Carlos Beltran decided to do the Mets one final favor, and offered to pay for Niese’s rhinoplasty over the offseason.
It’s more than just for looks, too — according to the New York Post, Niese was told that his previously smushed nose had an abnormality in the sinus that was affecting his breathing. Since being able to breathe seems like a rather important factor in being a successful pro athlete, could this signal a breakout season for the 25-year old lefty? So far, his career stats are fairly pedestrian: a 22-23 record, with a 4.39 ERA, and a 1.46 WHIP. Could improved breathing (and thus, better conditioning) + another year in the bigs + a year of Johan Santana’s tutelage (being a crafty lefty himself) = an anchor in the Mets’ rotation?