Colon, Niese could be part of postseason 'pen

Colon, Niese could be part of postseason 'pen

CINCINNATI -- If Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese wind up in the Mets' postseason bullpen, they won't be going in cold.

Without naming names, Mets manager Terry Collins said Saturday that multiple starting pitchers could come out of the bullpen next week against the Phillies and Nationals, rather than start. That would allow them to grow accustomed to their new roles in advance of a potential National League Division Series matchup against the Dodgers.

"It's very possible that could happen," Collins said. "Until we get there, I haven't talked to those guys. I don't need them to go to their phones and see that they're going to the bullpen, because I haven't talked to them yet. I'm just going to let it ride, but there's a possibility we might alter some things."

It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the Mets will proceed with a playoff rotation of Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, in some order. All of those pitchers, including Harvey, will receive final postseason tune-up starts next week.

That leaves Colon and Niese without clear roles. The Mets have already successfully used Colon out of the bullpen once this season, and considering his strong recent play -- he owns a 1.65 ERA over the last calendar month -- they are a strong bet to do so again in October.

Niese's situation is less clear. One of the organization's longest-tenured players, Niese has posted a 5.64 ERA over his last 11 outings. The Mets' bullpen is already near-full with Jeurys Familia, Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed, Hansel Robles and Colon. That leaves two spots for some combination of Niese, Sean Gilmartin, Erik Goeddel, Carlos Torres and Logan Verrett.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.