The New York Mets have perhaps the best pitcher in the planet in Jacob deGrom and a solid, mid-rotation arm in Marcus Stroman. After that, they have rookie David Peterson, who had a very good debut year in 2020, and Steven Matz, who didn’t fare so well.
As a result, they need to sign (or trade for) a couple of pitchers, at least, to shore up the depth in the rotation. Nowadays, MLB teams need between eight and ten starters to navigate through a full 162-game season. Between injuries, ineffectiveness, suspensions, and other unexpected scenarios, depth can disappear at any minute.
Noah Syndergaard is the wild card for the New York Mets. A 3.31-ERA pitcher (2.92 FIP) in 716.0 career frames, he underwent elbow reconstruction surgery (Tommy John) in March. Regular timelines stipulate between 14 and 16 months for pitchers to be ready to return from the procedure.
Mets are hopeful he can pitch in June
However, and according to Mets manager Luis Rojas, Syndergaard is “on schedule or maybe a little bit ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation.
As a result of the injury, Thor missed the whole 2020 campaign. Initially, he was expected back around July or August. However, if he’s truly ahead of schedule, it is a real possibility that the Mets get him in the first half, which would be huge.
In fact, Mets president Sandy Alderson said in an interview on WFAN on Wednesday that June is a “reasonable expectation” for the hurler’s return.
The 28-year-old right-hander will become a free agent next November, so he will have every motivation to prove to the Mets and other teams that his elbow is in good shape once the games start.
For the Mets, having Syndergaard return so early will do nothing but improve their chances of qualifying to the playoffs and perhaps making a deep run.