Scheduled relief appearances might work best for Noah Syndergaard’s starting pitcher mind
I think a routine might be the most favorable strategy for Syndergaard. Starters are creatures of habit. Knowing well in advance which days he will pitch could get him in the right frame of mind.
That same 60-year-old who laughed at the beginning of this is probably chuckling again. Back in his day, you pitched until your arm turned into sawdust.
Let’s say the Mets schedule Syndergaard to step on the mound every three days or so and work up his strength to pitching three innings. This could pay off for them big if the team is able to crack a spot in the postseason. We all know the hook on starters is incredibly short when the playoffs arrive. A burp can cause a manager to panic and bring in a reliever.
With no sure bet he’ll be back next season, the Mets need to have Syndergaard prepared for a possible stretch run into the postseason. They don’t owe him it nor does he have to force himself to get hurt by coming back too soon or going too far before he’s ready. A chance at winning it all in 2021 along with his own desire to compete should have the two sides seeing somewhat eye-to-eye on the situation.
Scheduled relief appearances might seem a little taboo to traditionalists. If it’s what we need to get the most from him, why not try it twice?