Mets ace Noah Syndergaard’s next stop could be the 60-day disabled list, reports the Associated Press. Syndergaard, who hit the 10-day DL on Monday with a partially torn right lat muscle, went to Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion earlier this week. During Syndergaard’s visit, ElAttrache told him not to resume throwing for six weeks.
If all goes well during Syndergaard’s six-week layoff, the 24-year-old could begin working his way back around mid-June, but he’d then need to go through a spring training-like program to build up his arm. Unsurprisingly, then, general manager Sandy Alderson said Saturday that “realistically it’s going to take a while” for Syndergaard to return, adding, “It’s going to be much later in the season.”
The latest news on Syndergaard essentially jibes with Joel Sherman’s report from Wednesday, when the New York Post scribe relayed that the flamethrower would miss about three months. Syndergaard is one of three Mets starters currently on the shelf, joining Seth Lugo and Steven Matz, whose respective elbow injuries have kept them out all season. As is the case with Syndergaard, neither Lugo nor Matz return imminently, which means a rotation that entered the season as a strength will be a question mark for a while.
Aside from Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, Mets starters have left plenty to be desired this year. Matt Harvey, whose 2016 season ended in July on account of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, no longer resembles the front-end starter he was in 2013 and ’15; Zack Wheeler has been better than Harvey, though the 2015 Tommy John surgery recipient is far from a top-tier option at this point; and Robert Gsellman has so far fallen flat in attempting to replicate last season’s unexpected brilliance. For now, filling out the team’s rotation is Rafael Montero. The 26-year-old ran up a 7.20 ERA in 16 Triple-A starts in 2016 and, in his first big league start this season, yielded five earned on seven hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings on Friday. In spite of Montero’s poor output, the Mets erased a six-run deficit to knock off the Marlins, 8-7.
Thanks in part to their injury woes, including current DL stints for left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, first baseman Lucas Duda, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and third baseman David Wright, wins have been difficult to come by for the Mets. After posting back-to-back playoff seasons for the second time in franchise history, they’re off to a 13-15 start this year. The Mets overcame a slew of injuries to win 87 games and earn a wild-card berth in 2016, and they’re going to have to fight through similar adversity to once again earn a postseason trip this year.