The Mets, with a trip to the IL almost certain for deGrom, will hold their breath. Will they, however, be able to collar Noah Syndergaard?
The Mets received a taste of the proverbial good news and bad news following an MRI administered to Jacob deGrom after he was removed from Sunday’s game on the back end of a labored five-inning 68-pitch start.
Based on a report from Jon Morosi (below), the Mets will probably err on the side of caution by placing their ace on the 10-day IL, though the good news is the test showed no sign of a pending long-term injury.
“One clarification: A short-term IL stay remains possible since skipping one start roughly equates to the minimum stay of 10 days, but the main news on deGrom is that the evaluation yesterday did not discover a serious or long-term injury”.
This news followed the previous day’s revelation that the rehab of Mets starter Carlos Carrasco has been set back to early June, instead of within the next 10-days or so.
However, the bouncing ball goes up with the Mets announcement that both Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo are expected to begin rehab assignments “in a week or so,” according to GM Zack Scott.
Mets: Beware The “Thor” In Noah Syndergaard
With regards to Syndergaard, a flare should go up in Mets camp when they recall February 26, 2018, when “Thor” took his first turn on the mound on the mound in Spring Training.
Firing off five consecutive pitches of 100 or more mph before toning it down to ninety before the dazzling show continued with more pitches topping 101 mph.
“I get adrenaline from throwing live batting practice with my teammates,” a shirtless Syndergaard said after his outing. “I was pretty juiced.”
A juiced Syndergaard is not, however, what the Mets need from Syndergaard now.
The team needs him to follow orders via the rehab prescription given to him by the Mets team of doctors.
Mets fans may recall a time this past November when Syndergaard was in the infant stages of beginning a team-guided throwing program, and he made some noise posting on Instagram a shirtless and sweaty workout, complete with the sound of his pitches snapping the catcher’s glove.
Almost immediately, Met’s pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, himself a Tommy John survivor who went through the frustrating and tortuous ardor of rehab not once but twice, let it be known that he is in control of Syndergaard’s progression – and Syndergaard is letting it happen.
Still, Noah’s Mets nickname isn’t Thor for no reason. He’s a thoroughbred racehorse anxious to be released from the barn.
Noah Syndergaard: A Career At A Crossroads
With the first two months of the season already ticking by, he has precious little time to impress would-be suitors, including the Mets, who still could head everyone off at the pass by offering Syndergaard an extension any time before then.
Only 26, Syndergaard had come a long way in terms of maturity since the days when he and Matt Harvey took turns challenging the Mets regarding medical care and treatment.
Still, deGrom and Syndergaard remain two very different pitching specimens.
DeGrom, the veteran who knows his body better than anyone as the pro who shut himself down Sunday, versus the (still) young stud Syndergaard, who hasn’t reached the point where the Mets can fully trust him to do the same, if necessary.
To be sure, the progress of Syndergaard’s rehab moves to the front burner of off-the-field drama in the coming weeks…
Mets: Switching Gears…
Meanwhile, the Mets on the field have moved to the top of the National League East Standings by virtue of a five-game win streak and winners of seven of their last ten.
Minus deGrom and Carrasco, the Mets now shift focus to the continued emergence of Marcus Stroman (3-3, 2.12 ERA) and Taijuan Walker (2-1, 2.38) to lead the starting staff.
To be followed by up and down performances that lead to anyone’s guess when they face the Baltimore Orioles for a two-game set beginning tomorrow at Citi Field.
Up was (Joey Lucchesi 3.1 IP, 35 of 59 pitches for strikes in a win over the D’Backs), versus the downer turned in by David Peterson (1.2 innings and three earned runs also against the D’Backs), leave the Mets looking to their offense for some relief this week.
With Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and utility infielder Luis Guillorme still on the 10-day IL, the Mets lineup looks a bit anemic, although Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil are showing signs of life of late.
Pete Alonso leads the Mets in home runs (5) and RBI (17), but after that, there’s still no one who seems ready to pick up the pace in the power department, with Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith holding steady with two home runs apiece and eleven driven home.
The Interleague stretch continues for the Mets after Baltimore with three games in Tampa against the Rays and then back to the NL East to Atlanta for three against their arch-nemesis Braves.
A day off today hopefully gives the Mets a chance to regroup from whatever that was between Lindor and McNeil, and with a solid chance to extend their win streak to seven with Stroman and Walker scheduled to make the starts against the Orioles.
The Mets still have a -3 run differential, but it is fast improving, for example, from April 30 when it was -14.
The team enjoys a 9-4 record at home, but there is a notable improvement to be made in their 7-9 away record and an 8-10 showing against teams with a +.500 record.
With deGrom Down, A Test Of Resilience
It’s always a test of resilience when a team has no alternative but to battle back when the face of their team is injured.
The Milwaukee Brewers, for instance, are 19-16 and in second place in the NL Central without Christian Yelich.
Similarly, Dustin May was in the early goings of a breakout season, but that will all have to be put on hold as the Dodgers’ young star will undergo Tommy John surgery that will end his 2021 season.
Clearly, the Mets will need to look forward to the rejuvenation of a sputtering offense while the pitching strives to hold its head above water, pending the return of both deGrom and Syndergaard.
And that, as they say, is why they play the games…
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We just need everyone at their peak when it mattered most!!LGM!!