Now that the 2017 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the active roster for the Mets at the end of season from A (Nori Aoki) to W (David Wright). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue our series today with a look at starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
Player Review: Noah Syndergaard
Stats: 7 Starts, 30.1 Innings Pitched, 1-2 Won-Loss Record, 2.97 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 34:3 Strikeout:Walk Ratio
Story: After being the lone starter to stay healthy in 2016, Noah Syndergaard took his role of Mets’ ace very seriously. Syndergaard trained very hard in the offseason, adding over 15 pounds of muscle to his frame in order to add velocity to his already lethal fastball. That story caught the attention of former big league pitcher Tom House, who said in spring training that Syndergaard’s extra muscle put him at increased risk for an injury since it was essentially untrained muscle. Everyone forgot about House’s prediction when Syndergaard got off to a hot start, going 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his first four starts, piling up an outstanding 30:0 strikeout to walk ratio in the process. Things took a troublesome turn in late April, when Syndergaard had a start skipped due to a sore elbow. Syndergaard refused to undergo an MRI, and the Mets didn’t force him to do so, instead re-inserting him into the rotation on April 30th against the Washington Nationals. That game would turn out to be essentially the end of the Mets’ season, as Syndergaard was hammered by Washington for five runs in 1.1 innings pitched before leaving with an injury.
The injury was a partial lat tear, and it kept Syndergaard on the shelf until late September. With the Mets way out of contention, they took Syndergaard’s rehab very slowly to ensure he was 100% before coming back. That process took so long that Syndergaard couldn’t properly be stretched out, but the Mets did let him make two brief starts at the end of the season in order to let him shake off some rust before next season. Those outings were a success, as Syndergaard tossed three shutout innings to let him build some confidence heading into 2018.
Syndergaard was fantastic when he was on the mound, but poor conditioning likely led to the lat injury that kept him out of action for four and a half months. That simply can’t happen if the Mets hope to bounce back next season.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (First Time)
Odds of Returning: 100%
2018 Role: Number 2 Starter
Syndergaard isn’t going anywhere and is firmly entrenched alongside Jacob deGrom at the top of the Mets’ rotation. The key to this off season for Syndergaard is getting himself into proper pitching shape and developing a training routine that focuses more on flexibility than building muscle. Syndergaard should have plenty of support from the Mets’ new coaching staff and revamped medical department, so they have to hope that his injury riddled 2017 is simply a blip on the radar.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Travis Taijeron!