Noah Syndergaard has been pulled from Saturday’s spring training game against the Tigers and sent down to the minor leagues. He suffered an ankle injury this past Monday and while test results showed no serious injuries, the Mets decided to send him down to minor league camp.
"I was really pushing for a rotation spot, but right now the rotation is full,” said Syndergaard. “I can’t really do much about that other than go down to minor league camp and continue to work on my craft. I guess I’m slated to go to Vegas. I’ll go there and I’ll continue to work on things to get better. And hopefully I’ll push Sandy to make that phone call."
If the Mets kept Syndergaard on the big league roster past Friday, he could have been placed on the Major League disabled list if the injury continued into the regular season. Anderson was not willing to take that risk.
In 7.1 innings during spring training, Syndergaard put up a 4.91 ERA, which was fairly disappointing. However, he struck out nine, giving him an average of over one strikeout per inning. His main problem seemed to involve his control and accuracy. With Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014, Syndergaard went 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA and 145 strikeouts. Triple-A Las Vegas manager, Wally Backman, believes that Syndergaard relied on his fastball too much during the 2014 season and at times got startled with runners on base.
The Mets decision to only give Syndergaard 7.1 innings during spring training made it evident that he was not going to begin the season in Flushing.
“He just needs to go down and pitch the way he’s capable of pitching,” said Alderson. “And not worry about what openings or opportunities may arise in New York. When they do, assuming he’s focused on his own performance in Vegas, he’ll get an opportunity.”
Syndergaard spent too much time worrying about getting the call-up that his minor league progress suffered as a result. He just needs to tackle Triple-A and be the star the Mets know he is.
And then Syndergaard’s phone may ring.