The New York Mets have had hard-to-believe injury misfortune so far in the 2021 season (even by Mets standards), and now they have a big scare from a star pitcher that has been rehabbing from Tommy Johns surgery which forced him to miss the 2020 season.
Noah Syndergaard left Tuesday’s rehab start with the St. Lucie Mets (Single-A affiliate) after just one inning due to right elbow soreness, according to the big-league club.
RHP Noah Syndergaard was removed from tonight’s game with St. Lucie after 1.0 inning for precautionary reasons due to right elbow soreness. pic.twitter.com/45C9GDGTTM
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 25, 2021
— St. Lucie Mets (@stluciemets) May 25, 2021
The plan was for Syndgergaard to go four innings, which he did in his first rehab start for St. Lucie last week (allowing just one hit, zero walks, zero runs, and striking out five).
A scout at the game said that Syndergaard’s velocity dropped from 94-95 mph to 89-92 as the first inning went on, and that the final slider didn’t look good.
Scout at Noah Syndergaard’s one-inning rehab start tonight: “He was 94-95 first few batters. 89-92 to the last couple.”
Also, his slider and changeup were good early, but his last slider was bad, the scout added. https://t.co/x1Iulgn3Hh
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) May 25, 2021
And here’s evidence of the velocity decline, via the Trackman data:
A little bird sent me Syndergaard’s Trackman from the inning he did pitch and well I don’t think those “changeups” at the end were changes pic.twitter.com/XgGCNaLKF1
— Jarrett Seidler (@jaseidler) May 25, 2021
So, that’s concerning.
Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery in March 2020 following a 197 2/3-inning 2019 campaign. In his MLB career, the fireballing right-hander has averaged 98 mph on his fastball, which really makes the 89-92 mph stuff alarming (even if in a minor league rehab start).
And this is particularly rough when considering that Syndergaard is an upcoming free agent. He hoped to get back on an MLB mound in the next few weeks and show that he’s deserving of a big payday this winter.
Hopefully this is just general arm soreness and not the sign of another serious injury.