Noah Syndergaard tossed 6.1 dominant innings for Las Vegas on Tuesday night, in a 4-0 win over the Tacoma Rainiers. He struck out five batters while scattering four singles and three walks and throwing a season high 109 pitches.
Syndergaard improved to 8-5 for the season and lowered his ERA to 5.34. Trying to figure out our top pitching prospect this season has been a Herculean task. He wavers between Thor for 1-2 starts and his evil brother Loki for the next 1-2 starts. Even the experts are baffled.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Keith Law said Syndergaard is in the midst of an excellent season, while others have labeled him as either underwhelming, going through the normal growing pains, paying the price of pitching in Las Vegas, or in a word, confounding.
Syndergaard has already given the Mets two injury scares this season, and one of them, the strained flexor tendon, sent some in the organization and the fan base into a virtual tizzy.
He was expected to make his big league debut this summer, but that is obviously on hold for now and according to Collins we shouldn’t hold our breaths, calling a promotion this season very unlikely.
In an interview last week with Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, the young righty said he’s had to do a lot of growing up this season, believing he was major league ready during spring camp and counting the days until the Super 2 deadline to make his debut.
“I was thinking about that [Super 2] almost constantly,” he admitted.
He now realizes that succeeding at the highest level requires more than a 100-mph fastball and a hook from hell. He said he understands that he lacks the maturity and knowledge which can only be attained with more and more experience.
Initially, Syndergaard believed he was following the same path as Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, but realizes they were older and more polished pitchers. ”They were ready at that point. And right now, I don’t think I’m ready.”
Still, last night’s performance was good to see. It was step in the right direction especially coming off one of the worst pitching performances of his professional career in his previous starts when he was tagged for seven earned runs.
It has been a relatively tough season for Syndergaard, but he’s clearly still working things out. With the team in no apparent need for pitching, perhaps finishing out the season in Vegas might be the best way to go for him and for the organization. What’s to be gained by letting him burn a year off the arbitration clock just to have him struggling at the major league level in what might end up being a meaningless season when all is said and done?
He’s only 21 and he’s never had more than 12 starts in either Advanced-A St. Lucie or Double-A Binghamton. There’s no need to rush him if he’s truly as good as most people think.
(Photo Credit: K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)