Noah Syndergaard has plenty of incentive to get healthy and back on the mound as quickly as possible, and the rehabbing Mets right-hander views it as a "competition."
Syndergaard, who underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of March, spoke to youth baseball players on a Zoom chat about his recovery and what he's been up to at home in Florida during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
"I think this is the best time to [rehab] considering there is no baseball right now, but I fully intend to be ready for next Opening Day, but doing it in a smart way," Syndergaard said, according to the Post. "The rehab is 12-15 months and I see that as a competition."
SNY's Andy Martino reported in March that a "reasonable expectation" for his return is Memorial Day of the 2021 season -- his final season of arbitration before free agency. Last season, the 27-year-old went 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA over 34 starts.
Syndergaard's been trying to embrace the new normal with both the quarantine and his injury ("I am doing a lot of left-handed things"), including playing "a lot of left-handed HORSE" with Robert Gsellman.
"I've had a real nice quarantine, honestly. I haven't really had much cabin fever," he said. "I do miss baseball. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to compete this year. Hopefully, at some point we will have some sort of normalcy return."
When the rest of the Mets will begin playing is still to be determined, but MLB was reportedly planning to present a proposal to the Players Association as early as this week regarding what it would look like if spring training were to resume in June.