I really like what Noah Syndergaard told reporters in Port St. Lucie about his reaction to not being called up at the end of last season.
Realistically, it wasn’t going to happen as to protect his Super Two status.
After getting the call from GM Sandy Alderson, Syndergaard refused to sulk, but instead used it a source of motivation.
“It was kind of heartbreaking,” Syndergaard told ESPN. “I went home, let things relax a little bit, and then got back in my workout program and just enjoyed time in the offseason.
“But it was disappointing. To be in the big leagues has been my dream ever since I was a little kid. … I use it as a little extra motivation, because I don’t want to hear that phone call again.’’
Syndergaard is expected to open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas and join the Mets in June.
Syndergaard, 22, needs to develop a secondary pitch because scouts say he relies too much on his outstanding fastball. Normally, pitchers move up to the next level when they begin dominating the competition, something he did not do evidenced by his 2014 Vegas numbers: 9-7, 4.60 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 26 starts.
By his own admission, Syndergaard said he wasn’t ready.
“Being in Triple-A, you’ve got guys who have been in the big leagues for a number of seasons. So they can hit a fastball,’’ Syndergaard said. “Hitting is timing, and pitching is throwing off timing. If you throw three fastballs on the heart of the plate, they’re going to time one up.’’
Nobody knows how good Syndergaard will be, but he has the right idea.
HARVEY TO THROW FRIDAY: Matt Harvey’s come back from Tommy John surgery will take another step Friday when he throws to hitters for the first time.
The plan is to take batting practice, but there’s even the chance the hitters won’t even swing, but to stand at the plate to re-acclimate him to having a batter in the box.
DUDA UPDATE: Lucas Duda’s side injury has been changed from a strained oblique to a intercostal muscle. He’s not expected to resume swinging until Friday.
ON DECK TOMORROW: Among other things, I’ll project the Mets’ Opening Day roster.