Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard will begin an injury rehab assignment Tuesday at the Single A-level, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Syndergaard could return to the majors within five days of that outing, DiComo reports. The Mets placed Syndergaard on the injured list June 16 with a hamstring strain, adding to what has been a surprisingly pedestrian season for the 26-year-old. A front-line starter when he was healthy enough to take the mound from 2015-18, Syndergaard has managed a mediocre-at-best 4.55 ERA in 95 innings this season. However, the flamethrowing Syndergaard’s 2019 peripherals have been more encouraging – albeit not as dominant as they had been in prior years – as he has logged a 3.61 FIP with 8.81 K/9, 2.27 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent groundball rate.
More from the National League…
- Dodgers center fielder A.J. Pollock is hoping to return when the second half of the season kicks off July 12, Pedro Moura of The Athletic tweets. Pollock’s continuing to work back from the right elbow surgery he underwent at the start of May. Before going under the knife, Pollock got off a tough start in 2019 after emigrating from the Diamondbacks to the rival Dodgers over the winter on a four-year, $60MM contract. The 31-year-old has hit just .233/.287/.330 (64 wRC+) in 115 plate appearances this season, but considering his productive track record and the Dodgers’ goal of having capable depth everywhere, they’ll be glad to get Pollock back.
- With Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks in danger of missing the rest of the season because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, it’s “expected” they’ll use Carlos Martinez as their main game-ending option, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. That would be a new role for the 27-year-old Martinez, who’s working out of the Cardinals’ bullpen this season largely because spring shoulder issues prevented him from ramping up as a starter entering the campaign. Martinez has totaled nine saves during his career, which began in 2013, and has been one of the Cardinals’ most effective relievers this year. He owns a 3.00 ERA/3.38 FIP with 8.4 K/9, 3.00 BB/9 and a Hicks-like 61.5 percent groundball rate in 15 innings.
- Righty Jimmy Nelson, now out of the Brewers’ starting rotation, will “likely” function as a long reliever, Robert Murray of The Athletic writes (subscription link). For now, Nelson’s rotation spot will go to righty reliever Adrian Houser. Nelson’s hopeful he’ll eventually return to Milwaukee’s starting staff, per Murray, who delves into the 30-year-old’s 2019 struggles in his piece. While Nelson was the Brewers’ best starter in 2017, late-season shoulder surgery that year kept him out of major league action until three weeks ago. Nelson then made three subpar starts before the Brewers moved him into a lesser role. Houser, 26, has logged an impressive 2.27 ERA/3.37 FIP with 10.23 K/9 and 3.41 BB/9 this season, but as Murray notes, he won’t work deep into games as a starter. He has averaged just under two innings per appearance across 16 tries this season, having totaled 31 2/3 frames.