ATLANTA – New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson may accelerate his search for pitching help after the team placed ace right-hander Noah Syndergaard on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a partial tear of his right lat muscle.
The Mets said there is no timetable for Syndergaard’s return, leaving Alderson to look for pitching help outside the organization.
“I said over the last few days we had looked at that possibility,” Alderson said before Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves. “I would say yes, this probably could accelerate that process.”
Mets left-hander Steven Matz missed two months with a similar lat injury in 2015. Matz is on the DL with left elbow irritation and could return by the end of May.
Syndergaard (1-2) allowed five runs on five hits in the first inning of Sunday’s 23-5 loss to the Nationals. He grimaced after throwing a second-inning strike to Bryce Harper and reached for his right armpit before leaving the field with a trainer and manager Terry Collins.
The injury came only a couple days after he said he felt fine and refused a MRI. He was a late scratch from a scheduled start last Thursday after complaining of biceps and shoulder discomfort in his pitching arm.
After Sunday’s injury, there was no room for debate about the MRI. The test at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery early Monday revealed the partial tear.
“The doctor has said there wasn’t any connection, there isn’t any connection, between what happened and a possible bicep injury,” Alderson said. “That’s all I can go on.”
The Mets also are without slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who was placed on the disabled list Friday with a strained left hamstring.
Meanwhile, first baseman Lucas Duda, out with a hyperextended left elbow, had a setback during his minor league rehab assignment. Alderson said Duda has been “slowed down slightly” for a couple days before resuming his minor league rehab. He was eligible to be activated from the 10-day DL on Monday.
Infielder Wilmer Flores (right knee infection) also is out.
Sunday’s ugly loss and the growing list of injuries left the Mets without their top starter and power hitter as they opened the four-game series against the Braves in last place in the NL East.
“Somebody has got to pick up the slack,” Collins said. “I’m not asking any starting pitcher to become Noah Syndergaard. I’m asking him to be himself and go pitch a good game. … In the case of offense without Cespedes in the middle of your lineup, you’re asking (Jay) Bruce, (Neil) Walker and (Curtis Granderson) to drive some runs in.”
The Mets recalled right-hander Paul Sewald from Triple-A Las Vegas. Collins said the team needed another arm after the bullpen was exhausted in the lopsided loss to the Nationals.
The Mets must find a replacement to fill Syndergaard’s spot in the rotation by Friday. Collins said left-hander Sean Gilmartin and right-hander Rafael Montero are the top candidates to join the rotation. Gilmartin was recalled from Las Vegas on Friday.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.