Noah Syndergaard eliminating certain pitches not a huge Mets concern

Noah Syndergaard will return to High-A Brooklyn on Sunday with an eye toward pitching beyond one inning.

A day after the right-hander pitched an inning for the Cyclones in his first minor league rehab appearance since his restart, Mets manager Luis Rojas said the goal is to get Syndergaard an “up and down” session. That could entail getting four to six outs.

Syndergaard revealed Thursday that he has received medical advice against throwing his slider and curveball before next season because of the strain those pitches have placed on his elbow following Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard’s first rehab was shut down in May because of discomfort in the elbow.

Can Syndergaard survive this season with just a fastball and changeup?

“For an inning or two,” pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said.

But the Mets also plan to utilize Syndergaard, should he return this season, out of the bullpen. Even so, the Mets would like to see an uptick in Syndergaard’s velocity — his fastball sat in the 95 mph range in his first appearance.

Noah Syndergaard pitching for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Jason Szenes

“I think we would like to see it a little harder,” Hefner said. “Mentally, going through 18 months of rehab and having a setback there is probably a little bit of hesitation and he’ll work his way into it as he gets more comfortable.”

Rojas said he was unaware of the doctors’ recommendation that Syndergaard avoid sliders and curveballs, and he indicated there will be discussions about an approach as the right-hander continues to progress.

“He has an opportunity to keep working on his changeup, which is a pitch he has developed throughout his rehabs and the work that he’s done,” Rojas said. “But as far as the breaking pitches we’ll talk more and more as he is probably getting closer to us.”

Tomas Nido, who had been sidelined with a sprained left thumb, returned from the Mets’ injured list and started at catcher Friday against the Nattionals. Chance Sisco was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to create roster space. The Mets are still without James McCann, who remains on the IL because of back spasms.

Dominic Smith was presented with the 2020 Joe DiMaggio “Toast of the Town” award before the game. The New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America presents the award annually to the player who makes the biggest impact on the New York baseball scene.

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