Pitching for Class A St. Lucie, Syndergaard was scheduled to pitch at least four innings as he returns from Tommy John surgery, but ended up leaving after 16 pitches. Syndergaard had pitched four scoreless innings in his first outing for St. Lucie, allowing one hit with five strikeouts while throwing 44 pitches, and the Mets were considering moving him up to Triple-A Syracuse after Tuesday’s start.
According to Trackman data published on Twitter by Baseball Prospectus, Syndergaard’s first pitch on Tuesday was a four-seam fastball that registered 95.3 mph. Eleven of the 16 pitches registered as changeups, with the final one clocking at 91.7 mph and several dipping into the 80s. It’s unlikely Syndergaard would be throwing that many changeups in a rehab start in Class A, especially in the first inning, so a sudden dip in velocity like that is usually viewed with significant concern.
On Monday, Mets acting general manager Zack Scott had said Syndergaard was on track for a mid-June return to the major league rotation.
Jacob deGrom did return to the Mets’ rotation on Tuesday, but Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker remain two of 16 Mets on the injured list. Carrasco, out with a torn hamstring, isn’t expected back until late June or July. Walker, out with left side tightness, threw live batting practice on Tuesday, and the Mets will see how he responds before activating him.
Seth Lugo, out all season with an elbow injury, is eligible to be activated May 31 and has made a couple rehab appearances in the minors. Scott said he will pitch out of the bullpen when he returns.