Mets fans understandably feared the worst a few nights ago when Noah Syndergaard was removed from his rehab start after just one inning in which his velocity was noticeably lowered, and it now appears those fears were justified. According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, the starting pitcher has been shut down for at least six weeks after his right elbow was found to have some inflammation. With that break and the time it would take for him to complete another rehab assignment, it is now clear that we will not see Syndergaard pitching in the majors until August at the earliest.
It is a huge blow for both Syndergaard and the Mets. While it was always a given that he would miss the beginning of the season due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Thor and his agent certainly both hoped that he would be able to come back in time to regain some of his value with free agency looming for him after this season. If he does come back this season, he will have much less time to do that now—and of course, the possibility remains that he could pull a Zack Wheeler and end up missing a second full season as a result of the surgery.
The Mets, meanwhile, simply need healthy bodies on their major league roster. While the pitching has by and large been great for the team, the rotation depth has thinned mightily, and the hope has been that Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco (who has also had a slow return from injury) would both return sometime in June to alleviate some of those concerns. Alas, it is clear now that the team will have to keep surviving with its current options for the foreseeable future.