Noah Syndergaard started off the New York Mets’ fourth Grapefruit League game tossing lightning, mowing down Jason Heyward with a 98 mph fastball. He then got B.J. Upton to pop out to right. Justin Upton hit a harmless fly ball to right and 12 pitches later, Syndergaard’s first inning was complete, just like that.
With every such performance, Syndergaard has Mets fans salivating for the righty to join the MLB team out of camp and NL East opponents shaking in fear over the idea. When you see that fastball, the 12-6 curve, the breath-stealing changeup and the command with which he throws all three pitches, it is hard to argue. And when you’re job is to write about the Mets, you want the exciting young pitcher to be providing easy headlines, too.
Unfortunately, none of this is going to change Syndergaard’s March 31 destination – triple-A Las Vegas.
Not only do the Mets want to control his arbitration schedule, which is a financial decision and can certainly be argued against, but they are also going to be keeping Syndergaard on a tight 150-160 innings limit.
Staying in the minors for a few extra months allows the Mets to skip Syndergaard’s starts without consequence, keeping his arm fresh. His only job until mid-June is going to be refining those killer secondary pitches and sharpening his control against inferior players.
Syndergaard will be back in June, when the Mets feel they can put him on the mound without restriction until the season’s end. He’ll either be a late-September drawing card or, hopefully, driving the Mets toward a Wild Card spot.
Either way, enjoy watching him mow down the Jason Heywards of the world; come Opening Day, Syndergaard’s heater will be dominating over-matched farmhands, and the waiting begins anew.