Many baseball fans haven’t heard Noah Syndergaard’s name in multiple years.
Once a Cy Young candidate, the New York Mets righty hasn’t pitched in a game since 2019.
It seems like a lot of folks have forgotten about him, and that’s a shame, because when he was at his best, he was an elite starting pitcher.
Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Where Happened To Him?
Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2020 to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow.
Tommy John surgery typically takes between 14-18 months for a player to fully recover.
Unfortunately, Syndergaard suffered a setback a few months ago.
During a rehab start in May, he was forced to exit due to elbow inflammation.
The team shut him down for six weeks, thus delaying his timetable for a big-league return.
So where he is now?
Checking In On His Recovery
Syndergaard is going to begin his second rehab stint this week.
Needless to say, all involved parties are hoping it will go better this time around.
If everything goes well, he could return to the MLB team in September.
The expectation is that a relief role is waiting for him.
Mets GM Zack Scott stated more forcefully today that when Noah Syndergaard returns down the stretch, he stands a good chance of doing so as a reliever.
"Getting him back in September in a role where he can help the club in relief would be a good thing for us to do," Scott said.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 10, 2021
A relief role for Syndergaard would make a lot of sense, as there isn’t enough time left in the 2021 season to stretch him out into his usual role as a starter.
It will be very interesting to see how he performs when he returns.
No one really knows what to expect.
Will He Pick Up Where He Left Off?
Syndergaard is known best for his electric fastball.
Between 2015 (his first year in the league) and 2019 (his last year before Tommy John), he recorded the most 100-plus mph fastballs in all of baseball.
This is Noah Syndergaard's 99mph fastball.
I love Noah Syndergaard's 99mph fastball. pic.twitter.com/0ppOREmpKr
— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) August 13, 2018
After undergoing such a significant surgery, what will happen to his velocity?
We’re bound to find out.
The last time we saw Syndergaard, he didn’t have his best season.
He pitched to a 4.28 ERA, 3.60 FIP, and 1.23 WHIP over 32 starts.
However, in every year prior to that one, he was an All-Star-caliber arm.
From 2015 to 2018, he pitched to a 2.93 ERA, 2.66 FIP, and 1.13 WHIP.
Which version of the 28-year-old will the Mets get?
Does He Have A Long-Term Future With New York?
Syndergaard’s future with the Mets is very much in question.
He is only signed through the current season, so he’ll become a free agent after the year ends.
There are tons of question marks.
Will New York want him back?
If not, what will the market be like for a guy coming off of Tommy John surgery?
Is signing a one-year “prove-it” deal his best option?
And if so, could that happen with New York?
There are a lot of unknowns and very few answers.
We’ll have to wait and see how everything unfolds.
Unfortunately for the Mets, the 2021 season is slipping away.
The dream was that Syndergaard was going to join the bullpen for the stretch run and into the postseason, but there will be no postseason for this team in 2021.
If Mets fans are hoping to see Syndergaard pitch meaningful games for New York ever again, well, the only real chance of that happening is if the team inks the 28-year-old to a new deal after this year ends.NEXT: New York Mets Appear To Officially Be Out Of Playoffs