Saying he’s “just itching to get back” to business, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard added that he feels good about his chances to return to the team this season.
Syndergaard has not pitched in the majors since 2019 due to the Tommy John surgery he underwent the next spring. He was rehabbing for the Mets’ Class-A Brooklyn team late last month when he tested positive for COVID-19.
In five seasons, the right-hander is 47-30 with a 3.31 ERA. He made the All-Star team with the Mets in 2016, his second season. He finished that campaign with 14 wins and a 2.60 ERA, both career-bests.
Syndergaard said his main symptom from COVID-19 was a loss of taste and smell, which lasted for about five days.
“The quarantine was the most difficult part. I kind of had to rig up the mattress in my apartment and keep the arm going. I’m just itching to get back on the rehab program and get out there,” he said.
Syndergaard, whose workload will shift to the bullpen if returns to the Mets, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He told reporters after his minor league appearance that he was medically advised not to use his slider this season.
“I’ve been rehabbing the last two years and I’d like to have something to show for that to reward myself for that journey,” he said of making it back to New York.
“Not only that, but just that it’s been two years since I’ve played Major League Baseball. It’s more like an individual reward for me for all the hard work, and it’s a bonus if I can go out there and hopefully help the Mets win some meaningful ballgames,” Syndergaard said.
The Mets, who led the NL East for much of the first half of the season, began Friday in third place in the division, five games behind the Atlanta Braves. They also were five games behind the San Diego Padres for the second-wild berth, with three other teams between them.
Syndergaard, a first-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, was traded to the Mets in December 2012 in a seven-player deal that saw R.A. Dickey, fresh off a Cy Young-winning season in New York, head to the Blue Jays.
–Field Level Media