Noah Syndergaard placed on 10-day DL due to bizarre ailment

Washington Nationals v New York Mets

Let’s be honest.

It’s been a harsh season for the New York Mets.

After getting off to an MLB-best 12-1 start, New York has gone just 28-55 and sits at the bottom of the NL East standings heading into Monday.

To put that into perspective, the rebuilding Miami Marlins hold a half-game lead over them. Only the Baltimore Orioles (28-72) and Kansas City Royals (30-68) currently have fewer wins than the Mets.

After trading away closer Jeurys Familia on Saturday, New York essentially threw in the towel on this season.

Now, Mets fans have to deal with even more bad news.

Per Coley Harvey of ESPN, star starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard was placed on the 10-day disabled list after being diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease. Although the ailment usually affects children younger than five years old, it clearly made an impact on him in his last start against the New York Yankees on Friday.

The unexpected diagnosis

In that contest, he was pulled early due to a sharp decline in the velocity of his pitches.

New York Mets v New York Yankees

"During the game, he didn't quite figure it out. He knew he had trouble breathing," manager Mickey Callaway said. "I put my hands on his legs to talk to him when he came out and said, 'Hey, man. Is everything OK?' And I felt his leg shaking. So he was just weak and run-down, and I think the virus just took its toll.”

He will now miss his next start on Wednesday.

"Sounds like once the blisters and everything -- or whatever he's got going on on his hands -- clears up, he's going to be fine," Callaway added.

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Since hand, foot and mouth disease can spread when someone with it coughs or sneezes, the Mets were extra-cautious in their response.

"We sent him home right away when we figured out what it was," Callaway said. "Nobody's shown any symptoms yet. We're trying to make sure they wash their hands and do all that a couple days ago. Some people didn't come into contact with him that day.”

Overall, it was a very bizarre reason for a Big League pitcher to land on the DL.

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"We did that a little bit like, 'Hand, foot and mouth?'" Callaway added. "But yeah, it's kind of odd. Maybe the first DL stint in major league baseball with hand, foot and mouth? Maybe a record or something."

Syndergaard has made 13 starts for the Mets this season due to a previous injury that landed him on the DL. Although he's managed a 6-1 record with a 2.89 ERA in those starts, he has uncharacteristically been hittable. Through 74.2 innings pitched, he's given up 78 hits and while he has punched out 83 batters, his stuff simply hasn’t been as dominant as it was earlier in his career.

As indicated by his 1.25 WHIP (above his career mark of 1.12), the lanky righty’s injuries have seemingly taken a toll on him this year. Since he was only able to make seven starts last season due to injury, he will need to prove that he can stay healthy before he receives the lucrative long-term deal that his talent suggests that he deserves.

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