So much for the speculation Jon Niese’s elbow issues would prompt the New York Mets to promote Noah Syndergaard and/or Rafael Montero to the major league roster for Opening Day.
We are aware of the financial reasoning by the Mets, who, despite a more aggressive off-season still are bound by economic handcuffs.
SYNDERGAARD: Just a start. (MLB.com)
No worries, because either or both will be at Citi Field soon enough. This is technically a demotion, but in reality a watershed moment in his career.
That’s the hope of Syndergaard, who said all the right things to reporters this morning. All the right things, much like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler did in previous springs.
“I kind of knew it was coming,’’ Syndergaard said. “I think no matter how well I threw during spring training, if I struck out everybody, if I didn’t allow any runs whatsoever, I think I still was going to go over to the minor-league side regardless. There’s a business standpoint to it. And I know there’s other things I have to work on.’’
Syndergaard must refine his arsenal of pitches, including a change-up and consistency with his nasty curveball.
Also sent down were pitchers Montero, Cory Mazzoni, Ryan Reid, Joel Carreno, catcher Juan Centeno, and first basemen Brandon Allen and Matt Clark.
It was thought, as a long shot Syndergaard or Montero would be promoted in light of Niese’s elbow problems. Niese could get at least two more starts to prove his worthiness to make the Opening Day roster.
Syndergaard showed he can overpower hitters with his fastball and baffle them with the curveball manager Terry Collins calls a “hook from hell.’’ However, despite his composure, there’s the matter of learning how to set up hitters and slow the game down when he gets into trouble.
What Syndergaard most took from spring training is the knowledge he and his stuff are ready. It will only be a few months; a blip in what the Mets hope will be a long career.
“Just that my stuff can play out on the field. I mean, I can get big-league hitters out,’’ Syndergaard said of what he’ll pack in his duffle bag. “Just playing against guys I watched growing up, just being able to get them out as well.
“There’s a sense of relief just knowing that my repertoire of pitches, my demeanor on the mound, opens eyes up in the big leagues, opens eyes of the big-league hitters. It’s just a lot of confidence going into minor-league camp knowing that I had some pretty great success in big-league camp.’’
Syndergaard and Montero – who was considered for a relief role – will anchor a Triple-A Las Vegas rotation that includes Jacob deGrom, Logan Verrett, and possibly Jenrry Mejia.
The Mets don’t figure to promote Syndergaard until late June or July, delaying his arbitration eligibility by a year.
It’s a money move, plain and simple, but if Syndergaard is all that is advertised, he’ll be making plenty of money.