Mets minors: Syndergaard next in line for promotion
Triple-A RHP Noah Syndergaard is next in line for a promotion to the majors when the Mets require a spot-starter, reports David Lennon in Newsday.
According to Lennon, Syndergaard will get the nod over Steven Matz due to the fact that he has a full year of Triple-A experience more than Matz.
With Rafael Montero – who made a big league start a few weeks back – on the disabled list due to inflammation in his rotator cuff, the door is open for Syndergaard to make his debut. And it could come soon, with the Mets about to begin a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Syndergaard, who was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week last week, has posted a 1.66 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to go along with a 10.80 K/9 rate in 21.2 innings pitched (four starts) for Las Vegas.
Syndergaard threw 137 total innings last season for Las Vegas between the regular season and the playoffs, meaning he’ll likely be capped somewhere between 167 and 172 innings in 2015.
Syndergaard, 22, has been dominant since dealing with tendinitis and a bout with food poisoning earlier this season.
Over his last two starts, Syndergaard has been close to unhittable, while mixing in his curve liberally, working fast, and either missing bats, freezing hitters, or inducing weak contact.
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Matz has also been very impressive, but it’s clearly Syndergaard who should get the call next. While Syndergaard has performed a bit better than Matz so far this season, he also has experience over Matz, and is viewed as the pitcher with more upside. That’s to take nothing away from Matz, who has the ability to be a top of the rotation starter.
The Mets haven’t yet officially announced if they’ll use an extra starting pitcher during their 20 games in 20 days stretch that begins on Friday, but the assumption is that they will do so in order to give each of their incumbent starting pitchers an extra day of rest.
If the Mets do go to spot-starter, it’ll be interesting to see when they do it. Their last two blue chip (at the time) pitching prospects began their big league careers on the road, with Matt Harvey making his first start in Arizona and Zack Wheeler making his first start in Atlanta.
Looking at the Mets’ schedule, perhaps the weekend series from May 22 through May 24 in Pittsburgh would be the time to slot Syndergaard in.
Regarding what happens with Syndergaard after a potential initial start, the plan would likely be to send him back to Triple-A Las Vegas. As I’ve noted numerous times, though, it would behoove the Mets to deal Dillon Gee in order to create a permanent spot for Syndergaard sooner rather than later.
What Gee offers is consistent mediocrity. Syndergaard offers the potential for much more than that. And every pitch he throws in Triple-A from this point on is a wasted bullet.