'Never felt better': Thor healthy, excited for '18

Mets hurler talks offseason, rehab while volunteering at baseball camp

January 8th, 2018

With Spring Training approaching, took a brief break from his offseason workouts and spent his Sunday on the West Coast, helping out at Reds prospect Hunter Greene's leadership camp in Inglewood, Calif.

The Mets right-hander chipped in at the event, which featured baseball instruction and demonstrations for children ages 9-14, alongside Greene -- the 18-year-old two-way player who went No. 2 overall in last year's Draft and can hit triple digits with his fastball just like Thor. Syndergaard and Greene even threw together at the clinic as the participants looked on.

The half-day camp centered around five pillars: integrity, humility, compassion, courage and discipline. All proceeds benefited the Inglewood Baseball Fund, a nonprofit organization that serves local youth through player development, coaching internships, field renovations and college counseling.

"I know how much of an outstanding citizen Hunter Greene is, so coming out here was a no-brainer," Syndergaard said. "He's 18 years old and doing this. Who knows what his career's gonna entail and where he'll go from here. I'm really excited to see him."

Syndergaard was in New York for two months of the offseason, then returned to his home state of Texas before heading out to Southern California. Syndergaard said he was going back to New York on Monday.

The 25-year-old is heading into his fourth season in the big leagues after missing more than 4 1/2 months last year with a partial tear in his right lat muscle. He returned in late September to make two short starts and said he's fully healthy now.

"The offseason's been a lot of fun, it's gone by quick, but I got some quality work in and I'm ready to hit the ground running in the 2018 season," Syndergaard said. "Arm feels great. Never really felt better. My body's never felt better. I realized how jacked up my body was last year, and I've been working extra hard to make sure it's loose and it's limber and as mobile as it can possibly be."

He also said he's excited to work with new Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who was the pitching coach for one of the top rotations in baseball in Cleveland before being hired by New York, as well as new pitching coach Dave Eiland.

The Mets are hoping their pitching staff can return to its once-dominant level after it was decimated by injury in 2017, with Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, , Zack Wheeler and all missing significant time.

"From my understanding, everyone's getting their work done and working hard and just ready for Spring Training," Syndergaard said Sunday -- a day after randomly running into Harvey at a brunch spot in Los Angeles, where the two had a chance to chat.

"I'm really excited. Hopefully everyone stays healthy throughout Spring Training and then throughout the whole season. As a pitching staff, we've never really been able to experience everyone healthy all at the same time. So it will be fun."