One of the bright spots for the New York Mets this spring is pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, who is coming off a two-inning, five-strikeout performance in last Thursday’s intrasquad game.
Today, he’ll face Atlanta at the Disney complex near Orlando.
“I kind of shocked myself a little bit,’’ Syndergaard said of his intrasquad outing. “I wasn’t expecting that my first time out there.’’
Syndergaard, who stands an imposing 6-foot-5, throws a nasty curveball and 97 mph., fastball. That’s a good beginning, but to become an effective major league starter, he’ll need a third pitch.
“I’m excited, a little nervous at the same time,’’ Syndergaard said of today’s exhibition start. “It’s the first time facing a real big-league lineup. I’m going to go out there and do what I can. It’s still a game. They’re still playing baseball out there.’’
The Mets don’t anticipate bringing up Syndergaard until mid-June, instead, going with Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan, as the fifth-starter candidate to open the season.
At the start of spring training, Jenrry Mejia was also listed as a fifth-starter possibility, but there appears a growing sentiment that won’t happen and he could end up in the bullpen or minor leagues. Mejia is recovering from elbow surgery.
* Also scheduled to pitch today are Jacob deGrom, Miguel Socolovich, Gonzalez Germen, Josh Edgin and Jeff Walters.
* With Ruben Tejada day-to-day with a strained left hamstring, Wilmer Flores is expected to play shortstop today after Omar Quintanilla.
* Expect outfielder Eric Young to see time today.
ON DECK: If Sandy Alderson expects the Mets to be a 90-win team, does that mean he’ll make moves like a 90-win franchise?