Mets’ Noah Syndergaard Off to a Blazing Start

 

Mets’ Noah Syndergaard Off to a Blazing Start

By Burt Carey

New York has a long history of producing positive media for its sports stars. Some are deserved, others not so much. The accolades for New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard are starting to mount.

New York Mets, Major League Baseball, Noah Syndergaard, Rookie of the Year, Sports IllustratedAll he’s done so far in the young 2016 Major League Baseball season is compile a 2-0 record in four starts, with a 1.69 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He’s given up just 22 hits (none of them home runs) while striking out 38 batters.

At 6 feet 6 inches and 240 pounds, he’s an imposing figure to be standing just 60 feet away hurling a baseball at 99 miles per hour. What’s truly impressive is that the second-year righthander has developed a 93-mile-per-hour slider. Yes, he throws his breaking ball as fast as most major league pitchers’ fastballs.

When Syndergaard was called up during the 2015 season, he seemed to easily handle the promotion en route to Rookie of the Year contention. He compiled a 9-7 record with a 3.24 ERA and recorded 106 strikeouts in 150 innings over 24 games.

While baseball writers, scouts and other experts report on the 23-year-old’s excellent mechanics, the question is whether he will be able to sustain throwing a high number of innings without injury.

Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci reports, “The Mets’ 23-year-old righthander … throw with so much velocity, even when he spins the ball, that in short time we will know one of these things for sure: He is either a threat to himself – pushing the limits of musculoskeletal integrity – or he is a once-in-a-generation physical marvel.”

Well, there goes that New York media again.

This generation of major league players is full of physical marvels hurling from pitching mounds. There’s the Dodgers’ three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who’s just 28 years old. There’s Zack Greinke, the Arizona Diamondbacks hurler and Cy Young Award winner, who isn’t exactly a grandpa at 32 years of age. And 26-year-old Madison Bumgarner, the Giants 6-foot-5-inch lefty who came oh so close to winning 20 games in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The difference is that Syndergaard consistently throws his fastball in the upper 90s, and that nasty slider comes toward the plate at such velocity that hitters, especially righthanded hitters, are left guessing in a split second which pitch he has thrown.

Whether his arm can sustain the punishment of 200+ innings over an entire season is the only questions left unanswered. The Mets’ Matt Harvey was the last New York pitcher to come close to the velocities Syndergaard is throwing. He threw 96 miles per hour fastballs and breaking balls at 90 in 2013 but blew out his elbow in 2014.

Source:  Baret News

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