Mets On Tap: Syndergaard To Start Against Braves

An article by posted on March 3, 2014

syndergaard by by BRETT BARR USATSI

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 the Atlanta Braves 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 can blow a 97-98 mph fastball by you. 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, they made clear that either Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan will be the fifth-starter candidate to open the season. Three weeks a go both were singed from baseball’s scrapheap to minor league deals.

At the start of spring training, Jenrry Mejia was also listed as a fifth-starter possibility, but there appears a growing sentiment that he’ll likely end up in the bullpen or minor leagues despite a handful of tantalizing starts last season when he showed just how dominating he could be.

In addition:

* Also scheduled to pitch today are Jacob deGromMiguel SocolovichGonzalez GermenJosh 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.

• After three games the Mets remain winless in Grapefruit League play and have been outscored 21-6.

Photo by Brad Barr, USATSI

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About the Author ()

I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that. Today I am a freelance writer and social director for several media outlets and the Senior Editor for MetsmerizedOnline.com.

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