PHILADELPHIA -- Noah Syndergaard turned his final start of the season into a political campaign to save his pitching coach's job.Hours after throwing two scoreless innings in the Mets' 11-0 loss to the Phillies, Syndergaard steered the conversation to Dan Warthen, whose job is in jeopardy following a season in
PHILADELPHIA -- Noah Syndergaard turned his final start of the season into a political campaign to save his pitching coach's job.
Hours after throwing two scoreless innings in the Mets' 11-0 loss to the Phillies, Syndergaard steered the conversation to Dan Warthen, whose job is in jeopardy following a season in which Mets pitchers ranked 29th in MLB with a 5.21 ERA. Multiple local newspapers reported last week that the Mets have already decided to part ways with Warthen, though general manager Sandy Alderson said the club will make decisions on all its coaches in the coming days.
Manager Terry Collins resigned following Sunday's game, thrusting his coaching staff's status further into the shadows.
"As far as our pitching coach situation, I think it's pretty much [expletive] what's going on with Dan," Syndergaard said. "It's just like he's taking the blame for all the injuries that have happened this year. I think they're looking in the wrong direction. But for me, I think if Dan's not back next year, then what does that say? Because I'm right here saying, in my opinion, I think he's what's best for our pitching staff and I want him to be my pitching coach for the remainder of my career."
Syndergaard is not the only Mets pitcher who has rushed to Warthen's defense in recent days; he has simply been the most vocal. Warthen, who became the team's pitching coach in May 2008, is the organization's second-longest tenured uniformed employee behind David Wright. He is the only big league pitching coach the Mets' homegrown players have known.
In particular, Syndergaard absolved Warthen from blame for the Mets' injuries. Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo all spent significant time on the disabled list due to arm ailments, and Robert Gsellman underperformed as a rookie. But Jacob deGrom -- another vocal Warthen proponent -- submitted a National League Cy Young Award-caliber season.
"It's not really my decision," Syndergaard said. "I can only have an opinion on the matter, and try to give as much insight as I possibly can."
Syndergaard was one of the primary factors in the Mets' fourth-place finish, tearing his right lat muscle on April 30 and missing nearly five months. Only recently did he return to make two abbreviated September starts, the second of them Sunday in the Mets' season finale. Hitting 101 mph on the radar gun, Syndergaard peppered the strike zone's lower half with sinkers, also mixing in a changeup, curveball and slider in a vintage performance.
Though he was on a limit of around 25 pitches, Syndergaard needed just six in the first inning, allowing him to come back out for more. He threw 26 pitches in total to complete his season 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 34 strikeouts and three walks in 30 1/3 innings, spanning seven starts.
Afterward, Syndergaard went out of the way to mention Warthen several times, praising his overall body of work as well as a recent mechanical tweak the coach suggested.
Syndergaard has already voiced his concerns to Alderson, though he is unsure how much effect that will have.
"I think players' input is important, and always taken into account," Alderson said. "But we will look at all of our coaching positions over the next couple of days."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.