Noah Syndergaard became the star of the Mets’ intra-squad game Thursday for his two innings of work. His line: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
You can watch his work here.
His fastball was 95-97 and touched 98 (Carig) and he worked his his curve at 81, touching 84.
Thor on Thor
“I felt pretty good out there. I kind of shocked myself a little bit. I wasn’t expecting that my first time out there.” (Marc Carig, Newsday)
Wise David Wright urged caution after just two meaningless innings against sub-Major League level competition. In not so breaking news, David Wright really gets it.
“It was impressive. …. He looked good, judging by some of the swings, he looked very good, but so did [Jeurys] Familia and [Steven] Matz. I’d rather see Syndergaard against other teams when hitters get a little more ready, and I’ll be able to make a better judgement, but what I’ve seen so far looks like the real deal.’’ (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)
Brandon Nimmo on Thor
“You just notice he’s different than the other guys”… “I was just telling him,” Nimmo said, motioning toward Verrett, “that just him being up on the mound, he feels like he’s only 48 feet away. He’s just huge up there. And he even had more giddy-up today than he did on the back field, which is understandable. You get a little more adrenaline on the big field.” (Adam Rubin, ESPNNY)
Terry Collins on Thor
“How can you not like what you saw? For heavens sake… Everything you heard, you saw,You heard he had a great arm, you’ve got it. You heard he has a great presence and pounds the strike zone, he did that. There’s going to be some more discussion as we get into this camp because he’s going to light some eyes up. (Mike Vorkunov, The Star Ledger)
Enjoy Syndergaard during Spring Training, but he’s not going to break camp with the big Mets. There are two reasons: development and roster control/money.
From a baseball and development perspective, he’s very close. On the other hand, he has made just 11 starts, and thrown just 54 innings above advanced-A. He could use a little time in AAA against more advanced hitters. There, he can work on setting up guys with a plan. Beyond sequencing, the major thing he could improve is commanding and trusting his changeup. It was his primary offspeed pitch in 2012, and took a back seat to his curveball in 2013. There’s nothing wrong with the pitch, and it has a chance to be pretty good, it will just get better when he throws it more.
Money and control. Players become free agents after six full years. If the Mets bring Syndergaard north for Opening Day, and he spends the year on the big league roster, his six years would start in 2014 and cover 2014-2019, making him a free agent between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. If the Mets wait even a few weeks before putting Syndergaard on the active MLB roster this year, they will have 2014 and then six more years covering 2015-2020. How good would Syndergaard have to be in three or four starts in 2014 to justify punting control of his entire 2020 season? Of course, he’ll be arbitration eligible in the last three (or four) depending on his promotion date. If the Mets keeps Syndergaard in the minors past the deadline for Super Two arbitration status, roughly six weeks or so, but a date that moves around every year depending on other big league players, they will only go to arbitration against him three times instead of four. Since arbitration salaries build on each other, such a move could save $10 million for maybe five starts. Delaying free agency at the cost of three to four starts could be worth $20 million or more on the open market. Given those numbers, and the Mets chances of contention in 2014, there is no reason, regardless of how he looks in Spring Training to bring Syndergaard north rather than sending him west to Las Vegas.