Mets minor leaguer Noah Syndergaard, who ranked among the top 20 prospects in baseball coming into the season according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.
Any time a young pitcher is shut down with elbow problems that leads to thoughts of Tommy John surgery, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that for now at least the Mets are referring to the injury as “mild.” He is, however, headed to New York to be examined further by team doctors.
Syndergaard has a 4.02 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A, which is a lot more impressive than it first appears considering a) he’s one of the youngest players in the entire Pacific Coast League at age 21, and b) Las Vegas is a tremendously hitter-friendly environment to call home. He has 57 strikeouts versus 19 walks in 54 innings, which is very promising considering the context.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.