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Mets 2017 Season Preview: Which player is most likely to disappoint?

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Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) field ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) field ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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Rich Sparago, Staff Writer

The Mets player most likely to disappoint in 2017 is, gasp, Noah Syndergaard. Yes, Thor himself may not live up to our expectations. And that’s where the issue lies — we expect so much from Syndergaard that he may disappoint a little. After all, “disappoint” is a relative term.

Last year, Syndergaard posted a 14-9 record, with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He also struck out 218 hitters over 183.2 innings, while walking only 43 (a 5:1 ratio). And for posterity, Thor had the highest average fastball velocity in the major leagues.

Now for why I think Noah may disappoint a little. He was diagnosed with a bone spur in his elbow in June of 2016. He persevered, and did so valiantly, up to and including starting the wild card game in October. However, unlike Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey, Syndergaard did not have his physical issue corrected medically. I’m concerned that this may haunt him in 2017.

I’m certainly not expecting Thor to miss significant time in 2017, nor am I expecting a significant regression. However, I have to assume that the bone spur may be a lingering issue, causing him to perhaps lose some velocity at times, and maybe not go as deep into some games.

Syndergaard may have to adjust his style ever so slightly in 2017. He may need to pitch to contact on occasion because of the bone spur. With all of this said, I believe a reasonable expectation from Noah may be something like 15-10 with a 3.20 ERA, with 180 strikeouts over 190 innings.

Most teams would gladly accept these statistics from a starting pitcher. We as Mets fans will accept them too. But we have come to expect such utter dominance from Syndergaard that we may be disappointed — just a little.

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