Mets’ rehabbing star could pitch out of the bullpen upon return

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the 1st inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets need all the help they can get, and Noah Syndergaard, currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery performed last spring, should be ready to return in September after experiencing a setback in June.

He is now getting closer to helping the Mets, although he is still not quite there. However, according to general manager Zack Scott, he may not return as a starter.

In late July, Scott talked about the possibility of Thor coming back as a reliever. Theoretically, it would mean a faster return given that he won’t have to stretch out to five or six innings before being slotted in the Mets’ rotation.

The acting GM reiterated that point on August 10. He said, according to SNY:

“He’s someone that obviously has a lot of talent, has the potential to impact the game, and at this point of the year, we just mentioned sense of urgency, coming in and contributing in a shorter relief outing, whether that’s a two or three inning outing or whatever it may be, I think getting him to help the big league club is the priority when you get down to these last couple months of the season. … Getting him back in September in a role where he can help the club in relief would be a good thing for us to do.”

The Mets’ pitcher is close to returning

The pitcher is very close to taking an enormous step in his road back: he will, according to Mets’ manager Luis Rojas, face hitters soon.

After that, he will need to go on a rehab assignment and face game situations. It looks like Syndergaard will get to return to the Mets after all the work he has put on during his rehab, but it may be in an unconventional role for him.

Additionally, if Jacob deGrom returns from his own injury, the Mets’ biggest need pitching-wise would be the bullpen. Sending Syndergaard there seems like a logical move.