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Mets careful with Syndergaard after forearm tightness

Top prospect set for first Triple-A start Monday after being held back four games

ATLANTA -- Though no one at Triple-A Las Vegas carries more hype than Mets No. 1 prospect Noah Syndergaard, the team held Syndergaard back from starting any of its first four games. Part of the reason was an organization-wide policy deemphasizing the importance of Opening Day starts. But part was due to a bout of forearm tightness that Syndergaard endured late in Spring Training, according to manager Terry Collins.

Syndergaard, who experienced a similar issue last season, has since recovered. He will start the 51s' fifth game of the season on Monday.

In his first taste of Triple-A baseball last summer, Syndergaard battled multiple injuries to finish with a 9-7 record and 4.60 ERA in 26 starts. The Mets expect him to make his big league debut at some point this season.

Other Sunday Mets notes:

• After narrowly avoiding the disabled list to start this season due to a strained right hamstring, second baseman Daniel Murphy rested Sunday with what Collins termed "general fatigue." Ruben Tejada, who was originally scheduled to give Wilmer Flores a one-day rest at shortstop, instead started at second in place of Murphy.

• The Mets will honor the families of fallen NYPD heroes Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos before Monday's home opener at Citi Field. The two officers were killed in the line of duty on Dec. 20, while sitting in their patrol car on special duty. Liu's widow Pei Xia Chen, and Ramos' sons Jaden and Justin, will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

• The team is encouraging fans to take mass transit to the opener. Subway service runs to the ballpark regularly on the 7 Line, as does Long Island Railroad service from Penn Station, Woodside and all stations on the Port Washington branch.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
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