The verdict is in: Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard won’t throw for at least six weeks, according to comments made by general manager Sandy Alderson during a pregame press conference on Saturday. At first blush, that sounds a lot better than the three-month estimate given by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman earlier this week, but keep in mind that Syndergaard will only begin throwing baseballs again when the six-week period expires. There’s no word yet on exactly how long it’ll take the Mets’ ace to return to the mound, though he received “positive news” during his evaluation by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday and isn’t likely to undergo any surgical procedures to mend his lat tear.
At this point, the team expects the process to go very slowly, and Alderson mentioned that Syndergaard could be placed on the 60-day disabled list while he works up to a full recovery. It seems unlikely that the righty would find himself back in the Mets’ rotation before the All-Star break, especially given the additional time needed to take on a full workload after he resumes throwing off the mound.
Neither Alderson nor Syndergaard appeared particularly perturbed by the decision to start the right-hander last Sunday, despite the fact that the 24-year-old had recently refused an MRI for biceps tendinitis and suffered the lat injury within the first 1 1/3 innings of his outing. “To me, the MRI was not a critical element to the decision-making,” Alderson said. “I don’t regret it at all,” Syndergaard added. “Something weird just happened.”
Syndergaard’s full comments from the press conference are below, via MLB.com’s Joe Trezza:
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.