It was very interesting to hear what Steve Gelbs had to say about his conversation with Mets Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola on Friday.
The two of them spoke shortly after the team announced that their top prospect, Noah Syndergaard, was being promoted and would make his MLB debut on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. I went ahead and transcribed it for you.
Viola, a former Cy Young award winner and three-time All Star, also made his big league debut at the age of 22. He explained how Syndergaard is ready to pitch at this level and said “it’s like night and day” when he compares Syndergaard today to the pitcher he was last season.
“Last year when he got into trouble he relied too heavily on that fastball, and this year he is using his fastball to set up his other pitchers. He doesn’t have any problem throwing a 2-0 changeup or a 2-1 curveball. He is doing a much better job of trusting his stuff.”
Viola also told Gelbs that he thinks Syndergaard took a lot from not being a September call-up last season and that he used that to motivate him and ramp up his performance to a whole new level.
“Not getting called up last season was the best thing that ever happened for Syndergaard. He re-committed himself and took his entire game up a few notches.”
Gelbs then paraphrased Viola who said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets have another Jacob deGrom situation on their hands this year – where he comes up and is so good you just can’t take him out of the rotation.”
Wow… That is some incredibly high praise from Frank Viola and when I heard it, it made me even more excited to see Syndergaard than I already was. So are you ready for Tuesday? Are you ready for… Thor’s Day???