Syndergaard's return expected in June

December 16th, 2020

NEW YORK -- Barring a significant change, the Mets will play the beginning of next season without .

Speaking Wednesday on WFAN Radio, Mets president Sandy Alderson called June a “reasonable expectation” for Syndergaard’s return following Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in March. That would represent a 15-month recovery, which is in line with most modern estimates for starting pitchers.

“I think right now the reasonable expectation is sometime in June,” Alderson said. “That’s kind of what I’ve seen in our medical reports and our updates. Right now, I’d stick with that just because that’s what’s medically indicated, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Although Syndergaard has not publicly commented on the details of his rehab since having surgery, he has periodically posted video updates to his Instagram account. Through those, Syndergaard has revealed that he began throwing off flat ground in July, and off the slope of a mound last month. He has also been sending videos to pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and the Mets’ training staff, as well as text messages to manager Luis Rojas.

“I’ve seen the videos,” Rojas said. “From what I’ve heard, he’s on schedule or maybe a little bit ahead of schedule. You know how Noah works and goes about it. He’s a hard worker, so he’s a guy that was going to face this surgery and rehab the best you could face it. So he’s doing it as we expected.”

How much of the schedule Syndergaard actually misses will depend also upon COVID-19 issues, and when the season begins.

Whenever he returns, Syndergaard should rejoin a rotation currently led by and . The Mets are pursuing additional starting pitching help via free agency, reportedly exploring top-market arms such as and . They also have several in-house pitchers who could claim rotation spots, including , , and Sam McWilliams.

At his best, Syndergaard can be as effective as any of them. Although he will soon be five years removed from his lone All-Star campaign in 2016, Syndergaard still managed a 10-8 record with a 4.28 ERA during his last healthy season in '19, striking out 202 batters in 197 2/3 innings. Overall, he is 47-30 with a 3.31 ERA in five years as a Met.