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Noah Syndergaard Needing Tommy John Is The Worst Thing Happening Right Now

In true Mets fashion, it was discovered Mets ace Noah Syndergaard has a torn UCL, and he is going to need Tommy John surgery. With that, the Mets chances of winning the 2020 World Series, if the season is ever going to be played, just took a massive hit.

For all the discussion people want to have about Syndergaard not fulfilling his potential as an ace, Syndergaard remained a very good starting pitcher. In 2019, Syndergaard was 18th in FIP, and he had the second best hard-hit rate in the majors. Over the past two seasons, Syndergaard ranked eighth in FIP, and he had the best hard hit rate in the majors.

Overall, while some of his stats did not bear out that way, partially due to what has been an atrocious Mets defense, Syndergaard has pitched like one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He’d be the ace on almost any other team. Part of the problem Syndergaard has with respect to how he is perceived is he is in the same rotation as Jacob deGrom, and every pitcher in baseball looks worse than they actually are next to him.

Looking at the Mets, their plan to compete for the division was rolling out a great top three of deGrom, Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman. Now, they are going to have one of the better 1-2 punches in the majors, but not the best, and certainly, no longer the best 1-2-3 combination.

Worse yet, this thrusts Michael Wacha into that starting rotation. Wacha has been shut down multiple times in his career due to shoulder issues. That includes last year. Over the past two years, Wacha was simply not good. He had a 4.76 ERA with a 1.563 WHIP. In fact, he has had an ERA above 4.00 and a WHIP above 1.350 in three out of the last four years.

This isn’t like 2015 when the Mets had Steven Matz and Syndergaard waiting in the wings. No, the rotation really couldn’t withstand an injury to one of their top three starters like this. This serves as a crucial blow to their chances of competing.

Of course, things didn’t have to be this way. The Mets could’ve taken the money being given to Rick Porcello, owner of the worst ERA in the AL last year, Wacha, Jake Marisnick, and Dellin Betances, and they could’ve just given it to Zack Wheeler. That also would’ve given them a little money to spare.

With Wheeler, who is a discount at $118 million, especially with money deferred, the Mets still could’ve had a great 1-2 combination, and even with Syndergaard going down, their 1-2-3 punch would have likely remained the best in the majors. Mostly, it would’ve allowed the Mets to better sustain this injury.

Remember, the Mets aren’t just built on pitching. No, they are built on elite starting pitching. The best staff in the majors. That took a giant step back when the Mets let Wheeler walk, and now, it’s frankly no longer the case with Syndergaard done for 2020. In the end, Brodie Van Wagenen lost sight of this, and now he lost his team’s biggest strength.

Now, the Mets are without Syndergaard, and their chances took a MAJOR hit. Now, their hopes lie with Jeremy Hefner having a profound impact on the Mets rotation, which includes, but is not limited to having Porcello and Wacha turn the clock back 5+ years and having Matz reach his full potential.

The question next becomes what happens if the next pitcher goes down. Unless Corey Oswalt or Stephen Gonsalves are ready to contribute, this all could become a disaster rather quickly. The ultimate point here is the Mets chances of winning the World Series went from legitimately possible to having a real outside shot. That’s just how much losing Syndergaard hurts the team.

At least from a Mets fans perspective, this is the worst thing happening in the world right now. Of course, that really isn’t true. There are far more pressing concerns at the moment.

On that front, one of the things Mets fans were clinging onto was the prospect of the return of baseball at some point during 2020. When that happened, the Mets had that type of rotation which could have taken them their first World Series title since 1986. Now, there may not even be that to look forward to at at time when we are just sitting around waiting for things to improve.

On a day like today, when it is reported Syndergaard won’t pitch at all in 2020, it does not seem like things are going to be any better anytime soon.

11 thoughts on “Noah Syndergaard Needing Tommy John Is The Worst Thing Happening Right Now”

  1. rgregory jones says:

    Syndergaard may never throw another pitch again for the Mets, given the year plus recovery at best and the way his agents will protect him with a looming 2022 free agency. One could argue he will want to prove his health….so maybe 10 2021 starts.

    What this means is the Mets have to look for a trade to bring in an ace. We will have to give up painful talent and/or take on a painful contract.

    That is the discussion.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      With the Mets terrible history with TJ, you might be right.

      As for trading for an ace, I don’t know if they have the pieces to do it.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        If I were BVW, I’d be talking intensely with Stroman’s agents about extending and be making friendly noises at Walka and Porcello’s guys.

        And puhlease…no whining about Wheeler. He was dramatically overpriced. If we wanted to take on a contract like that, a ton of teams would be selling us pitchers better than Wheeler, bundled with their other bad contracts. He was paid like a guy with 3 or 4 elite seasons, and he never had one. Enough about him.

        I hope this makes the Mets consider an opener strategy for everybody behind deGrom. That would be fun, and it is where the game will be in 10 years anyway.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Wheeler signed at a discount.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            Opinion, which you have a horrible track record on, so why should we give it weight?

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Yes, my track record of not making up facts and using data to substantiate opinions.

  2. David Klein says:

    Syndergaard for some reason is seen by an underachiever by many fans and while he’s never reached the heights of his 2016 season- he’s never been below a three war pitcher. I feel so bad for Noah probably out until next summer. Mets should have extended Wheeler a year ago. Wacha won’t stay healthy for long and while I’m high on David Peterson its impossible to replace Noah.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not possible to replace him. You can’t even tread water. Just have to hope the Mets can pick it up in other areas.

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Lugo to the rotation as #3.

    Degrom
    Stroman
    Lugo
    Matz/Wacha
    Porcello

    Solid enough.

    I suspect however it won’t matter with the real possibility there will be no big league baseball in 2020 if parts of the country are still deadly.

    If there is a season, hard to see how they’re ready before August in a season that must expand to October and have a second spring training in July. That’s not giving much time for NYC to recover. The likelihood is that Mets and Yankees have to play home games elsewhere – or MLB will play 2020 without in-stadium fans. Gping to be rather difficult for teams to stay Covid-19 free. If one player or coach gets it, the whole team is quarantined, as are other teams who were in contact with that player in the course of any game.

    But if played, a season that might have 90-100 games, will have a fresh 5-man rotation who will be far less taxed with fewer innings.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The problem with Lugo in the rotation is a still suspect Mets bullpen would lose their best reliever.

      In the end, I just don’t know if he and his elbow can withstand a full season or if the bullpen can hold up without him.

  4. Oldbackstop says:

    I agree that Lugo’s elbow is scary.

    I think a trade has to be made for a front end starting pitcher and/or a top reliever.

    Here are the pitchers available as free agents after 2021:

    RHP Corey Kluber, Aníbal Sánchez, Chris Archer, Charlie Morton, Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis; and LHP Jon Lester, J.A. Happ, Brad Hand and Andrew Miller.

    If we have an abbreviated season, or if it is totally wiped out, those guys might be available at a relatively painless cost, given their short terms. And we have chits, without getting into the weeds discussing trades at this point.

    Bottomline is, Jake, Stroman, Matz, Porcello, Wacha is not a playoff rotation. We need an impact arm for 2020, and three for 2021.

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