The Mets have announced that Noah Syndergaard will start on Opening Day, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. That’ll be on April 3 at home against the Braves.
That Syndergaard gets the nod comes as no surprise, as he was the Mets’ best starter last season. He went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a 218/43 K/BB ratio in 183 2/3 innings, earning a nomination to the National League All-Star team in the process. Syndergaard finished eight in National League Cy Young Award balloting, but arguably should’ve finished a lot higher than that.
Syndergaard reportedly added 17 pounds of muscle over the offseason. Considering his 97.9 MPH average fastball velocity was by far tops among starters last season, it’s scary to think about what he can do with even more strength.
Syndergaard will be the seventh different Met to start on Opening Day in as many years. Those prior to him included Matt Harvey, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Johan Santana, and Mike Pelfrey.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.