Prized New York Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s today, and Newsday's David Lennon later confirmed it was due to an forearm issue.
Syndergaard on DL with flexor pronator strain and headed back to NY to be examined by #Mets docs. Team can’t catch a break.— David Lennon (@DPLennon) May 26, 2014
While the ESPN New York's Adam Rubin emphasized that the Mets consider the injury to be "mild," there's also no dancing around the fact that this injury often is a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Stephen Strasburg, Josh Johnson, and Scott Baker each were initially diagnosed with flexor pronator injuries in recent seasons prior to undergoing full UCL replacement surgery, and the follow up tests for Syndergaard in New York will ultimately determine the severity. Not all diagnoses end up with that worst-case scenario, however, as Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee was recently sidelined with a flexor pronator strain that was deemed not serious enough to require surgery.
Drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 draft (38th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays, Syndergaard was a centerpiece of the haul received by the Mets in the massive December 2012 trade that saw R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and Mike Nickeas head to Toronto, and John Buck, Travis D'Arnaud, and Wilmer Becerra joined the young right-hander in heading to New York. At just 21 years old, Syndergaard has established himself as one of the top arms in the minor leagues, and he's managed to maintain a decent amount of success in 2014 despite pitching in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League. He was 5-2 with a 4.02 ERA in ten starts this season prior to being placed on the DL, posting a solid 9.6 K/9 despite a 1.45 WHIP significantly higher than his career minor league mark of 1.16.
Syndergaard, a consensus Top 20 prospect, was ranked as the 3rd best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors by MLBPipeline.com prior to the 2014 season behind only Archie Bradley and Taijuan Walker, and he will now unfortunately join both of them on the 7-day DL with arm injuries. Bradley has been dealing with a flexor strain issue that's had him sidelined since April 29th, and Walker has struggled to recover from a shoulder impingement issue that has limited him to just two starts this season and none since April 9th.