So Noah Syndergaard starts Friday night against the Pirates. And then… well, that’s anybody’s guess. Dillon Gee is set to return from the disabled list, so a decision must be made. I predict Sandy Alderson will do the right thing and keep Syndergaard in the rotation and move Gee to the bullpen.
Why am I suddenly so optimistic about Alderson’s decision-making? There are several factors, First, he knows the fans want Syndergaard to stay, and Alderson does sometimes play to the crowd (sometimes he doesn’t, obviously. But the man is concerned about fan sentiment).
Second, the Mets are in the thick of the pennant race (if you can call it a pennant race in late May). Alderson knows Syndergaard puts the Mets in better position for playing in October.
Third, Alderson knows Syndergaard is the future and Gee is not. Why risk a post-season spot on a guy who probably won’t even be on the team next year.
Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, are Alderson’s own words — or in this case, his lack of them. Alderson has done a good job managing Mets fans’ expectations. If Syndergaard were only up for Gee’s DL period, Alderson would have said, “Syndergaard is going back down regardless of how well he pitches.” He did not say that, so I believe it is a sign that Syndergaard is here to stay.
There are, of course, reasons for Noah Syndergaard to be sent back down. Well, one reason, and it’s a big one — money. If the Mets demote Syndergaard for three or so weeks, they can probably avoid him being a Super 2. That means they will get an extra cheap year out of him. When it comes to the Mets, this cannot be discounted.
If the Mets go this route, it would help if Syndergaard flops in Pittsburgh. It would help justify the move. But if he pitches lights-out and is still sent down, it is absolutely, positively about the money, regardless of what the Mets say.
But it says here that Sandy Alderson will make the proper baseball decision and keep Noah Syndergaard around. I’m finally on your side, Sandy. Please don’t let me, and all Mets fans, down.