After almost two years on the shelf, Thor is officially back. Noah Syndergaard will be on the mound for Game 2 of Tuesday night’s doubleheader against the Marlins, making his first major-league start since September 29, 2019. “Start” is admittedly a loose term here as the right-hander will probably serve as more of an opener, throwing an inning or two before handing off to the Mets’ bullpen. Syndergaard didn’t exceed 16 pitches in any of his three rehab appearances for High-A Brooklyn and Triple-A Syracuse.
A one-time All-Star and former first-round pick (the Mets acquired him from Toronto along with Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck and outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra in 2012), Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery last spring after being diagnosed with a torn UCL in his throwing elbow. The 6’6” flamethrower began a minor-league rehab assignment in hopes of returning around the All-Star break but was shut down indefinitely after experiencing a setback in May.
This could be Syndergaard’s final week in a Mets uniform with the oft-injured hurler headed for free agency. The Mets could extend a one-year qualifying offer to Syndergaard, as they did with Marcus Stroman last offseason. If the 29-year-old were to sign elsewhere, in that scenario, the Mets would receive a compensatory draft pick from whichever team lands him.
Injuries have been the story of the Mets’ season with Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Carrasco and Dellin Betances all missing significant time. Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets spent 103 days in first place this season, the most by any team to finish under .500 in MLB history. Sunday’s loss to Milwaukee clinched yet another losing season for the Mets, who haven’t reached the playoffs since 2016.
Syndergaard owns a 3.31 ERA across 119 big-league outings with all but one of those coming as a starter.