While they’ve somehow been able to stay in first place in the NL East, the Mets have been torn apart by injuries this season. They thought they might be seeing light at the end of the tunnel with one injury, as Noah Syndergaard was on a rehab assignment and making progress toward a return after having Tommy John surgery last year.
The Mets were dealt another unfortunate blow on Thursday, though, as Syndergaard will be shut down for six weeks due to right elbow inflammation. It looks as if Syndergaard’s elbow is structurally intact and he’ll be able to avoid a second surgery for the time being, but he won’t be able to impact the Mets’ rotation at least until the second half, and one would imagine he’ll need another extended rehab stint after this shutdown.
BREAKING: Noah Syndergaard has been shut down for six weeks with right elbow inflammation. No structural damage, but he'll be down until at least August.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 27, 2021
Syndergaard, 28, exited his rehab start at Low-A St. Lucie after one inning. He saw his velocity dip significantly during the course of the abbreviated outing. He had given up just one hit over four shutout innings, striking out five in his first rehab start on May 19.
In addition to Syndergaard, the Mets are currently without Carlos Carrasco, Seth Lugo, and Taijuan Walker. David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi, who were supposed to be depth pieces, have become rotation mainstays. The Mets almost certainly will have to explore the trade market, and perhaps even the free agent market.
Syndergaard is a free agent after the season, but as he hits the open market, it’s possible he’ll do so without having pitched since 2019. While we’ve seen teams willing to take short-term gambles on starters with recent injury issues, this news might ruin Syndergaard’s chances of receiving a long-term deal this offseason.