Mets starter Noah Syndergaard has a torn UCL in his right elbow and is expected to have Tommy John surgery, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday afternoon. The surgery will obviously keep him out for the entire 2020 season (if there is one) and at least part of the 2021 campaign:
New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, sources tell ESPN. The procedure will keep him out until at earliest April 2021 and likely into the summer months.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2020
While he struggled to adjust to the juiced ball and posted the worst numbers of his career in 2019 (4.28 ERA, 1.23 WHIP), Syndergaard actually had his healthiest season to date, making 32 starts, throwing 197.2 innings, and spending just 14 days on the injured list due to a right hamstring strain. When healthy, Syndergaard has been one of the majors’ best starting pitchers for the last half-decade, playing a huge role in getting the Mets to the 2015 World Series, making the NL All-Star team in 2016, and serving as a beacon of consistency at the top of the Mets’ rotation. But he’s been held back by injuries far too often, being limited to 32 starts overall between 2017-18 due to a torn lat muscle, strained finger ligament, and hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Again, we don’t know enough right now to be confident that there will be a 2020 season. But if there is one, the Mets’ decision to splurge on starting pitching depth now looks like a really smart one. The loss of Syndergaard is obviously a massive one, but a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Michael Wacha, Rick Porcello, and Steven Matz is still very good.