NEW YORK (AP) -- New York Mets southpaw and Defiance High School graduate Jonathon Niese joined the team Wednesday after pitching in a simulated game Tuesday against Class-A St. Lucie in Florida.
He is on track to come off the disabled list and start Sunday against Cincinnati at Citi Field in New York.
Niese pitched five innings in a simulated game against Class A St. Lucie at the club's spring facility in Florida on Tuesday. The left-hander allowed four runs, two earned, and five hits while throwing 76 pitches.
Niese was hampered by elbow inflammation during spring training.
"It felt great. Obviously, the injury is behind me and I'm ready for the season to start," he said.
Niese was particularly strong early on in the game, breaking a pair of bats in the first inning and striking out catcher Nelfi Zapata on a curveball in the dirt.
"For the most part, I think I'll get better with each start. I'm still kind of in the process of getting my arm in shape, but my next outing will be 90 or 95 pitches," he said, alluding to the game against the Reds.
"The timetable is still the same."