Mets starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, delivered a filthy message to the National League and it’s only the beginning of what lies ahead for the sure-to-be challenger for a Cy Young Award.
There were probably a few eyebrows raised in the Mets dugout yesterday when Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland noticed Noah Syndergaard, in his first spring training outing against the World Champion Houston Astros, hitting 100 on eleven pitches and 101 on the first pitch of the game.
The temptation for Calloway to stroll to the mound after that first pitch with a message to Syndergaard saying, “That’s nice, now how about toning it down a little” must have been strong after witnessing what he later told the New York Post was “something he had never seen before.”
To his credit, though, Callaway or Eiland didn’t step in, even though the possibility of over-reaching at this stage might cause injury to an already rehabbing ace. And that’s because, in a game situation, the competitive nature of any ballplayers takes over, and the time for any “instruction” becomes mute. That’s what bullpens are for.
So, watching Syndergaard had to be a thrill, along with a sign pointing to the emergence of Noah Syndergaard we’ve all been on the wait for.
After shutting down for the day, Syndergaard offered this:
Comfortable? Yeah, I guess I’d say so, Noah. As he proved in this outing, his fastball is more than enough to get major league hitters out consistently. But over six innings, that nasty slider will enter the foray, doubling the treatment Syndergaard will be delivering to hitters.
Having two putaway pitches is something reserved for only the likes of Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, and a few others. But among that small club of pitchers, only Syndergaard is capable of tossing one up there at 101.
Syndergaard is a unique talent whom the Mets stole from the Blue Jays in the deal that sent Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for what was thought to be the prized talent the Mets would be receiving in Travis d’Arnaud. Mets fans can fill in the blanks as to what the organization has received from d’Arnaud to date, but Syndergaard is bursting at the seams and ready to claim his berth as one of the top pitchers in the game today.
Here’s a quick snapshot of Syndergaard to date:
It makes you cringe a bit, doesn’t it? The won-loss record is not much but notice his career WAR and WHIP. A 1.0 WAR is now used to equal $8 million in annual salary. Doing the math puts Syndergaard in the realm beyond all possibilities of earning $72 million, pitching for the Mets this season. Leave that alone because it has no real relevance except to highlight what Syndergaard means for the Mets in 2018.
Thor, if we go by his nickname, is poised to bring a level of comfort and joy to Mets fans as well as the team who will be looking for a stopper when the inevitable two or three-game losing streaks come about. Jacob deGrom is more than capable of holding his own in this endeavor.
And one of the bright spots in the Mets season is sure to be the battle between deGrom and Syndergaard as to which can outdo the other.
In 2018, Noah Syndergaard will step forward, lighting up the National League. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
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