New York Mets right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard began a rehabilitation stint with High-A Brooklyn on Thursday, pitching in live game action for the first time since the Mets shut him down in late May.
Syndergaard gave up a home run to the first batter he faced before settling in and finishing the first inning as planned, according to the New York Post.
The 28-year-old nicknamed “Thor” sat out the abridged 2020 MLB season after being diagnosed with a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and undergoing surgery in March of that year.
He began to ramp back up earlier this year with a pair of rehab starts at Low-A St. Lucie. But he developed inflammation in the elbow in May and was shut down as a precaution.
Syndergaard said doctors had advised him not to throw his slider, one of his best pitches, so he plans to focus on fastballs and changeups for the time being.
“To me, I decided, for the reasoning that they don’t want me to throw my slider, I think it would be best if I didn’t throw the curveball as well, just because there’s kind of the same kind of torque on the elbow,” Syndergaard said.
Manager Luis Rojas said in May that the Mets “pray that (Syndergaard) can pitch for us this year,” but that appears less likely with roughly five weeks left in the regular season.
New York has dropped from first to third place in the National League East this month and is also without ace starter Jacob deGrom, currently on the 60-day injured list.
–Field Level Media