Almost echoing what I said yesterday, after the Mets wrapped up their series win in Seattle, they said they are not yet convinced that Noah Syndergaard is ready to make the move to the majors.
What the Mets player development people are looking for from their top pitching prospect is the “consistency” that I talked about yesterday.
Two front office people did admit to the Daily News that Syndergaard has improved enough that the possibility of him making his debut in 2014 is more likely now than it was a month ago.
But until he strings together 2-3 more starts in a row like that on Tuesday night, I expect that the 21-year old will remain in Las Vegas to continue to develop his overall game.
Another team source said on Wednesday that while the Mets would ideally like to bring up prospect Noah Syndergaard to plug into the rotation, they are adamant that they will not let the status of the major-league rotation affect Syndergaard’s development.
Some in the organization think that having Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola will help Syndergaard find that consistency and get him ready to make the leap to the majors when the time comes.
It’s nice to see the Mets wearing their big-boy pants on this.
My biggest fear has always been that the Wilpons will latch onto the howls from some in the Mets fan base and blogosphere, and that they’ll use an unwarranted Syndergaard promotion as a marketing gimmick to sell some extra tickets.
As I stated yesterday, Syndergaard was rushed through Advanced-A and Double-A, making no more than 12 starts at either level before beginning the 2014 season in Triple-A a full six years younger than the league’s average age – six years younger.
Among all Pacific Coast League starting pitchers, Syndergaard ranks 39th with a 5.34 ERA (minimum 15 starts) and 37th with a 1.53 WHIP.
This season is the first time in his five year minor league career that he has allowed more hits than innings pitched and the league is batting .303 against him.
Starting rotation mates Jacob deGrom (2.34), Rafael Montero (3.64), Matthew Bowman (2.79), Darin Gorski (4.56) and Logan Verrett (4.58) have all outperformed Syndergaard pitching in Las Vegas this season.
Additionally, Syndergaard would need to be added to the 40 man roster at a time when the Mets have several other prospects they must add to the 40 after the season to keep from losing them.
So far the only reasons I’ve heard for promoting Syndergaard now is; “it would be totally cool”, “the Mets owe it to the fans”, “let him learn how to pitch here”, and the always popular: “think of how exciting it would be.”
Let’s not screw this up…
Noah Syndergaard tossed 6.1 dominant innings for Las Vegas on Tuesday night, in a 4-0 win over the Tacoma Rainiers. He struck out five batters while scattering four singles and three walks and throwing a season high 109 pitches.
Syndergaard improved to 8-5 for the season and lowered his ERA to 5.34. Trying to figure out our top pitching prospect this season has been a Herculean task. He wavers between Thor for 1-2 starts and his evil brother Loki for the next 1-2 starts. Even the experts are baffled.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Keith Law said Syndergaard is in the midst of an excellent season, while others have labeled him as either underwhelming, going through the normal growing pains, paying the price of pitching in Las Vegas, or in a word, confounding.
Syndergaard has already given the Mets two injury scares this season, and one of them, the strained flexor tendon, sent some in the organization and the fan base into a virtual tizzy.
He was expected to make his big league debut this summer, but that is obviously on hold for now and according to Collins we shouldn’t hold our breaths, calling a promotion this season very unlikely.
In an interview last week with Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, the young righty said he’s had to do a lot of growing up this season, believing he was major league ready during spring camp and counting the days until the Super 2 deadline to make his debut.
“I was thinking about that [Super 2] almost constantly,” he admitted.
He now realizes that succeeding at the highest level requires more than a 100-mph fastball and a hook from hell. He said he understands that he lacks the maturity and knowledge which can only be attained with more and more experience.
Initially, Syndergaard believed he was following the same path as Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, but realizes they were older and more polished pitchers. ”They were ready at that point. And right now, I don’t think I’m ready.”
Still, last night’s performance was good to see. It was step in the right direction especially coming off one of the worst pitching performances of his professional career in his previous starts when he was tagged for seven earned runs.
It has been a relatively tough season for Syndergaard, but he’s clearly still working things out. With the team in no apparent need for pitching, perhaps finishing out the season in Vegas might be the best way to go for him and for the organization. What’s to be gained by letting him burn a year off the arbitration clock just to have him struggling at the major league level in what might end up being a meaningless season when all is said and done?
He’s only 21 and he’s never had more than 12 starts in either Advanced-A St. Lucie or Double-A Binghamton. There’s no need to rush him if he’s truly as good as most people think.