Mets need to bring Noah back to New York
By Rich Mancuso
New York- There should be no questions or discussion because the New York Mets have to make the right decision. Bring the 21-year old prospect, right-handed flame thrower Noah Syndergaard up north when the team breaks camp in four weeks. It is the right thing to do.
And why not, because the Mets key attraction, besides the captain David Wright, pitcher Matt Harvey, will probably not throw a pitch this coming season. More importantly it seems Syndergaard, is ready to take the challenge. More so, the Mets need him!
So, why wait, as the Mets tend to do with their star prospects on the mound? Perhaps it’s protecting the young arm of piling up inning counts, as was a concern for Harvey. And it is understandable, a youngster with a fastball clocked at 98, should be protected.
“They (Mets) have the best pitching prospects in the game,” said a prominent National League scout to this writer again last week. It was the words he relayed last season when Harvey hit the scene.
However, the Mets need a star attraction. And they need to send a message to their fans that 90 wins is possible, a number that got some attention last week with that proclamation from GM Sandy Alderson down in Port. St. Lucie Flordia, though realistically this team still needs work to reach that plateau.
If healthy though, and with revived appearances at the plate, the Mets could make some noise with Curtis Granderson, Wright, and Ike Davis in the everyday lineup.
The intent to go slow with the pitcher is understandable. The manager, Terry Collins has called Syndergaard’s curve ball, “The hook from Hell.” He had the command and pounded the strike zone, everything that has been heard and seen, in his spring debut against the Braves Monday afternoon.
These young arms the Mets carry, according to most baseball scouts in the know, are a commodity. In other words, Syndergaard, Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, are going to be protected. The future, in essence, as it appears is on the mound for New York.
And, when Alderson attempts to boost the offense, the first names that come up in trade talks are that young core of the future. Wheeler, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee, set in the rotation have been established and are a part of that core. Syndergaard, is projected to be there but may not be slated for a Major League debut until June, similar to how the Mets handled Wheeler last season.
However, Mets fans, and perhaps Syndergaard can’t wait until June. The time is now and that is what he, and what Mets fans want to hear.
“There are certainly some things we’ve got to get him to do better,” said Collins Monday about the youngster who gives every indication about coming up north with the team for the season opener at Citi Field March 31st.
Though Collins added, “But, right now, he’s on track to be something special.” And with those words, Mets fans certainly got excited. Because any part of being special at Citi Field is a welcome reprieve from being a part of five straight losing seasons.
So, where does this go from here? It’s a guessing game and from all indications the Mets will go day-by-day with Syndergaard. There will be more opportunities this month as spring training continues. Syndergaard will get more innings and a chance to face more big league hitters, though throwing heat at more non-roster invitees that will head to minor league ball.
Yes, it is a risk taking the youngster up north. Putting him in the pen with the relief core is not going to be an auspicious debut at Citi Field. The Mets would only make the move to put Syndergaard on the 25-man roster as a projected fifth starter.
And, Mets fans would go for that spot as a final role in the rotation, a better fit than Daisuke Matsuzaka or the veteran John Lannan. Though, at this point, and from Mets’ management terminology, the veteran out of options, Lannan or Matsuzaka stands a better chance of coming up north.
There is one bit of hope. Collins added Monday, “He’s (Syndergaard) is going to continue to be run out there and we’ll see how he goes about it.”
And if Noah Syndergaard goes about it the right way, he deserves that opportunity to be a part of the opening day roster. Quickly, Harvey is not the talk until 2015 as he continues his recovery from arm surgery.
The Mets have a better chance of winning more games in 2014 if Syndergaard is at Citi Field opening day.
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