Noah Syndergaard is an imposing figure on the mound, an enormous piece of the Mets’ future, and someone who is opening eyes at spring training in Port St. Lucie. However, those who are suggesting that he should break camp with the big club need to stop.
Feb 17, 2014; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (55) during todays first official day of spring training at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
During Thursday’s intrasquad game, Syndergaard flashed a 98 MPH fastball and the Terry Collins named “hook from hell” while striking out five teammates in two innings of work.
Syndergaard’s performance led some, including John Harper of the Daily News, to say the Mets would be “wrong” if they let the Super Two issue impact their decision on Syndergaard:
"If Sandy Alderson thinks the Mets should win 90 games in 2014, as he told Collins and his staff this week, the manager has a right to expect management to give him the best possible roster. Fans too, for that matter. All of which means the Mets would be wrong to allow the infamous Super Two time frame to dictate when Syndergaard is promoted to the majors, as it did with Zack Wheeler and, to some degree, Matt Harvey."
Harper goes on to suggest that although Syndergaard breaking camp with the team is unlikely, the Mets should ignore the Super Two issue and call him up in May:
"So here’s the point: if Alderson really thinks this team is capable of winning 90 games, Syndergaard should be up here sometime in May — provided he’s pitching well in Triple-A — or whenever the innings limit no longer will loom as such an issue."
Would it be absolutely insane if the Mets took Syndergaard north with them when the season opens on March 31st? No. At the same time, that doesn’t mean it makes any sense to do so.
For one, Syndergaard has thrown exactly zero innings above Double-A. Some clubs don’t care about innings amassed above Double-A, but the Mets aren’t one of them.
Additionally, the Mets don’t currently have an opening in their rotation. At present, Jonathon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee, and perhaps Jenrry Mejia are slated to form the rotation. Who should they remove to accommodate Syndergaard?
Lastly, while some fans hate the whole idea of Super Two having an impact on when prospects get called up (by delaying Syndergaard’s arrival in the majors, the Mets will guarantee that he doesn’t become eligible for salary arbitration a year early), the reality is that the majority of clubs make decisions around it. It’s smart business, regardless of whether or not fans and/or the media are hungry for a certain player to make it to the show.
If Syndergaard had experience above Double-A, or if the Mets were dealing with a rash of injuries to the starting rotation, or if their rotation was projected to be poor, one could make a case for Syndergaard opening the year in Queens.
However, Syndergaard still needs experience in Triple-A, the Mets don’t have any starting pitchers who are dealing with serious injuries, and have a rotation that’s expected to be very solid. And yes, the Super Two issue is the clincher here.
Barring something odd happening, Noah Syndergaard won’t make his debut with the Mets until the middle of June or a bit after. The sooner most people learn to live with that fact, the better.