Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |
This season is over and has been for months for the Mets. At this late stage, what's the point of Noah Syndergaard returning to a lost season? None.
Syndergaard -- who threw a simulated game today -- did say that he does not want for "10 months to go by without me competing in a meaningful game." Well, to put it bluntly, there is no game from now until the end of the season that will be meaningful for the Mets.
Yes, I know, Syndergaard essentially meant he wanted to be back playing on the major league stage -- which I'm sure would give him confidence and make him feel good about returning in 2018. But is that worth it? Is it worth putting his health at risk just to return this season?
No, it's not.
The Mets have recently realized this by coming out and saying that they are concerned about his return this season. And the way this past season has gone with players returning solely to land on the disabled list once again (cough, cough, Yoenis Cespedes), potentially bringing Syndergaard back before he is entirely ready is an extremely valid concern.
The Mets aren't in a playoff push and are already mathematically out of the Wild Card race. There are no must-win situations happening within the next couple of weeks where Syndergaard's return would be vital. The season is over. The focus now should be on the 2018 season, and that should include ensuring that Syndergaard is 100 percent healthy for Opening Day, and ready to come back to the rotation as dominant as he was in 2016.
Syndergaard is young. We all know how much he loves his team, and he loves playing. And you can easily assume that it's killing him that he's not out there on the mound. But, that angst to get back cannot and should not result in him returning before he is completely ready.
Terry Collins has already acknowledged this, and let's just hope that his actions match his words, as we have all seen how he has let his players influence his decisions in the past. Hopefully Sandy Alderson can keep this all in check, as we know he has the final call.
In 2016, Syndergaard had a 2.60 ERA with a 1.098 WHIP. Those are the kind of numbers, if not better, that we need to see from him in 2018. And that needs to be the priority right now, rather than just getting him back out there so he can see some major league play before the season ends.