Can Noah Syndergaard Crack New York Mets' Rotation Out of Camp?

By Patrick M Arthur
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

It was only two innings in an intrasquad game, but last Thursday Noah Syndergaard had the New York Mets talking about changing plans for the big Texan. That’s what happens when you walk none and strike out five, unleashing what manager Terry Collins has dubbed a “hook from Hell.”

But given Syndergaard’s innings limit (around 160 for 2014) and his Super Two status, is it possible that he can change minds enough to travel with the team back to New York?

Wouldn’t an arm such as Syndergaard’s help the Mets get to that 90-win goal their GM offered to the media? Don’t the fans in Citi Field deserve to see what all the hype is about?

Yes and yes. But sorry everyone, he’s not coming north.

The challenge, provided the 6-foot-6 righty keeps up the dominance, is making sure he’s available in September. The last thing the Mets or their fans want to see is Syndergaard getting shut down during the middle of a Wild Card chase.

Down with the triple-A Las Vegas 51s, Syndergaard’s innings can be more generously dispersed while he fine tunes his pitches before facing MLB hitters. Coming out of games early or missing starts in the minor leagues doesn’t mean much; throwing that 98-mph fastball on the final weekend of the season could be all the difference for the Mets’ playoff hopes.

As with many other topics around the team this spring, the mantra with Syndergaard is “patience.” Let him mow down over-matched batters in March, April and May, get his confidence going and his game ready; then watch him hit the National League like a ton of bricks when the thermometer matches his pitch speed.

Daydreaming about prospects is fun during February and I’m definitely all for the Mets “going for it” this season. But I also think the Mets have to be smart about this.

Syndergaard’s time is coming; it’s just not now.

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