Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard pitched in a competition setting for the first time since May on Sunday as he took the hill for Short-A Brooklyn.
Syndergaard, 25, has been sidelined with a strained finger ligament that has flared up several times since he’s been on the disabled list, but he told reporters after his outing on Sunday that he didn’t have any issues.
“Finger felt great, no problems at all,” he said.
The artist known as Thor had a rough first inning, walking a batter and allowing a hit and then later throwing a wild pitch to let a run score, but would buckle down to throw five solid innings. He struck out seven when all was said and done.
The 6’6″ Texas native attributed some of his early troubles to mound issues.
“[I] was letting the mound kind of get to me, […] kind of threw me off a little bit,” he said. “So I was thinking about that too much. It still affected me as the game went on, but I tried to ignore it.
“First inning was a little rough, but I felt like I got in a good rhythm, a good groove as the game went on.”
Syndergaard mixed up his arsenal against the Staten Island Yankees in the Cyclones’ 2-1 victory and said he was able to throw all of his pitches efficiently.
“Felt pretty comfortable using all my pitches at any given time,” he said. “I visualized it as if I was facing a big league team.”
Syndergaard, along with fellow ace Jacob deGrom have been rumored to be trade targets leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The fourth-year big leaguer, however, said any rumors haven’t bothered him, and that truthfully, he’s been kind of out of the loop.
“Not really, no. I’ve been kind of unplugged recently,” he said. “I don’t think much of it because I have zero control over it, so I can’t waste my energy worrying about something that may or may not happen.”
The next step for the former 14-game winner is to go to Citi Field Monday and evaluate where he is and how he’s feeling.