Mets: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst with Noah Syndergaard
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets should remain optimistic with Noah Syndergaard, but also understand things may not go as planned.
Nobody may be more of a wild card for the 2021 season more than Noah Syndergaard. The longtime New York Mets pitched missed all of last season due to Tommy John Surgery and is embarking on a long winter of rehabbing his arm.
As with any major injury, there’s always a chance a player isn’t able to come back from it fully. Tommy John is no exception. It has ruined careers and turned promising pitchers into guys whose baseball cards become worthless overnight.
Syndergaard is established enough in the big leagues for us to know what he’s capable of. While year to year he has lacked inconsistency, there’s no doubt when he’s pitching at his best the man known as “Thor” is one of the league’s top pitchers.
The trick right now is preparing for the 2021 season. The Mets rotation needs work. Coming into this exciting offseason, it was the one area they couldn’t neglect.
We do know Jacob deGrom will be back. Marcus Stroman also decided to accept a qualifying offer, add his name into the mix for the starting five in 2021. We should also expect David Peterson to get a fair chance to compete for a rotation role. Add in Syndergaard, the team is suddenly coming into shape.
Unfortunately, we can’t just add Syndergaard to the mix and expect everything to go smoothly. The Mets need to be prepared for the worst yet remain hopeful for the best.
How the Mets can prepare for the worst
It’s actually not too hard for the Mets to enter next season well-prepared to handle some bad news involving Syndergaard. Even if he is a member of their projected starting five, they should be able to get by with some help from familiar names.
Despite pitching poorly as a starter in 2020, I would like to think Seth Lugo is a starting option in an emergency situation. Depending on what happens with Steven Matz this winter, he could also become a guy to at least give them a chance in games.
The Mets don’t have a plethora of minor league starting pitchers although between now and Opening Day, they very might. These would be those veteran castoffs from other organizations hoping to get back into the majors.
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Between now and Opening Day, the Mets need to add enough to their roster where Syndergaard is an added bonus. Last year, they went into spring training gloating about having the deepest rotation in baseball. This time around, they need to actually have it.