Not even a suspension of play could save the New York Mets from their injury curse. Noah Syndergaard is the latest victim.
Jeff Passan of ESPN shocked the baseball world Tuesday afternoon when he broke the news that Noah Syndergaard tore his UCL. The New York Mets pitcher will have to undergo Tommy John surgery and won’t be available to pitch until at least April of 2021.
New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, sources tell ESPN. The procedure will keep him out until at earliest April 2021 and likely into the summer months.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2020
So what happened? The man known as Thor was healthy throughout spring training. The Mets never reported any discomfort or shut him down for any reason. That’s not entirely true. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Syndergaard began to feel discomfort just before spring ended.
Syndergaard began feeling elbow discomfort before camp was suspended #Mets. Saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a 2d opinion. A diagnosis of a torn elbow ligament was confirmed. Surgery necessary, according to the #Mets
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 24, 2020
This loss is huge for the Mets. Even if the 2020 season never starts, this is devastating for them. They could lose one of their best pitchers for a good chunk of 2021 as well.
Any hopes of making a deep playoff run in 2020 or 2021 are taking a significant body blow. The Mets built their roster on the back of their starting pitching. Losing their second-best pitcher damages the rotation in a major way.
They don’t have the pitching prospects or depth to replace Syndergaard. His spot in the rotation will likely go to Michael Wacha and eventually David Peterson. Neither of those pitchers will be able to fill the hole Syndergaard’s absence leaves.
Although this is tragic news for the righty hurler, this could work to the Mets’ advantage. With a new injury on his resumé, Syndergaard’s value likely goes down. That could make it easier for the Mets and Syndergaard to come to an agreement on a cheaper long-term contract extension.
If that happens, the Mets could get Syndergaard’s prime seasons at a bargain price. There’s nothing more valuable in baseball than a star player on a team-friendly contract.