Posted by Mack Ade at 6:40 PM
Buffalo Bisons Manager Ken Oberkfell has named LHP Jonathon Niese as his Opening Day Starter. Niese will take the mound Thursday, April 9 as the Bisons open up the 2009 season against the Pawtucket Red Sox at Coca-Cola Field (3:05 p.m.).
Scheduled to oppose Niese is Pawtucket RHP Enrique Gonzalez.
Niese, 22, is coming off a spectacular 2008 season where he was given the Mets’ Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year Award, emblematic of the top pitcher on the minor league level. The southpaw went a combined 11-8 with a 3.13ERA in 29 starts at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A New Orleans.
His stellar campaign earned him a major league promotion to the Mets in just his fourth professional season. After having his contract purchased on September 1, Niese went 1-1 with a 7.07ERA in three starts with New York. He tossed eight shutout innings on September 13 vs. Atlanta to pick up his first big league win.
Niese enters the 2009 season as the Mets 3rd best prospect, according to Baseball America.