The New York Mets have struggled at the start of the 2017 season and currently sport an overall record of 18-24 - good for only third place in the National League East.
Already, the Mets find themselves in a 7.5 game hole as they try to chase down the Washington Nationals at the top of the division.
One big reason for the early-season struggles has been the performance of what was supposed to be a star-studded starting rotation. Matt Harvey hasn't performed up to expectations and Noah Syndergaard wasn't his usual outstanding self before he partially tore a lat muscle during an April 30 start.
On Monday, Syndergaard addressed his rehab process, telling the New York Daily News that he's still not exactly sure when he'll be able to pitch again:
“It’s just a very specific injury,” Syndergaard said. “So there’s really no timetable."
He added that, while he doesn't know when he'll be able to take the mound again, he is happy with the progress he's made thus far:
“I’m actually very pleased with how quickly it’s recovering,” Syndergaard said. “It kind of sucks that I’m injured right now, but there are a lot of other things that I can focus on in terms of training, so when it is time to come back, I’ll be better than ever.”
Syndergaard had put up a 1-2 record with a 3.29 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 27.1 innings before leaving his April 30 start with the injury after just 1.1 innings of work.
As he deals with his first stint on the disabled list and watches the Mets continue to struggle, Syndergaard said the camaraderie of the dugout is what he misses the most:
“It really kind of sucks,” Syndergaard said. “But it’s just all about being present in the clubhouse. I’m at every game. I just want to be around the guys. It’s something that’s kind of a first-time thing for me, being on the DL. So I think being around the team will be very important.”
New York recently ended a seven-game losing streak by taking two of three games from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
If the Mets are going to climb their way back into playoff contention, a healthy Syndergaard will be a big part of that.
Syndergaard finished with 218 strikeouts last season, good for ninth place among all MLB starters, and compiled an impressive 14-9 record to go along with a 2.60 ERA - good for third among starters.
The longer the Mets have to go without their ace, the longer they'll struggle just to stay afloat in the playoff race.
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