Lightning Strikes Thor’s Elbow
For once, I am not going to use the Mets being the Mets excuse. If you have not heard yet, Noah Syndergaard will be joining Chris Sale on the operating table and getting his UCL repaired.
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
This might be the most predictable thing to happen in a very long time. Syndergaard earned the nickname “Thor” for a reason. The huge, long blonde haired Norse god consistently throws fastballs in the upper 90s. He was the only one of the Mets power five rotation (going back to when Matt Harvey was still good) to not have Tommy John surgery. For a pitcher like Syndergaard, it was not a matter of if, but a matter of when he would need TJ.
He had been experiencing elbow discomfort going back to before spring training was shut down. If there is a good time to get TJ, this is probably it. The season is in jeopardy and he only has one more year until he becomes a free agent. For the Mets and Syndergaard personally, this is the best time for the surgery. He can rehab during the shortened season (if it happens) and then come back fully healthy for his final year of arbitration.
The Ripple Effects
Brodie Van Wagenen has done a nice job acquiring starting pitching depth in his two years as GM. This offseason he added Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello just in case something like this happens. A team can never have too much pitching. Someone will always get hurt and it pays off having MLB caliber arms ready to go. This pretty much guarantees Porcello, Wacha, and Steven Matz make the rotation behind DeGrom and Marcus Stroman.
It is a big blow to the Mets rotation. The Mets have always prided themselves on starting pitching going back to Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, and Doc Gooden and Ron Darling. DeGrom is going to be a beast as usual, but they are going to need Stroman to pitch better than his first few months in Queens, and the rest of the rotation has to be effective. As the lone lefty, Matz is the x-factor in the rotation. With the uncertainty surrounding the bullpen, the rotation has to be good this year. The Mets cannot succeed if they are only getting decent pitching from 2/5 starters.
The most important thing moving forward is just staying healthy. Whether it be injuries or the corona virus, players need to take care of themselves, take care of their families, and be ready to take the field when it is appropriate to do so.
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-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)