It was an interesting line in the box score: Jon Niese gave up just one hit over 4 2/3 innings Monday afternoon. But he also walked four.

"I want to eliminate them," Niese said after Monday’s 11-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.

Manager Terry Collins attributed the walks to Niese’s decision to work on his breaking ball.

"It’s such a big pitch for him," Collins said. "You even saw early in one inning, he threw three or four out of the five pitches he threw. He’s got to get a feel for it, because if that pitch becomes effective, he could be dominant."

Collins not only reiterated he is comfortable about using Niese as his opening day starter, but also offered a bold prediction.

"He’s reached that point where I think you’re going to look up hopefully at the end of the year and this guy can be one of the best pitchers in the game," Collins said.