"His tempo was way too slow, especially early in the game," Backman told ESPN.com. "He got better as the game went on but there were times he was 20-plus seconds in between pitches. His stuff was there, but everything you hear about in baseball is rhythm and timing and it wasn't there tonight for him."
The 21 year old struggled this spring but could work his way on to the major league roster if he makes progress this season.
Scouts from the
The Mets have been linked to trade rumors involving Mariners infielder Nick Franklin, and Arizona shortstops Chris Owings and Didi Gregorius.
It was only a matter of time, but the
"No matter how well I threw during spring training, whether I struck out everybody and didn't allow any runs whatsoever, I think I still was going to go over to the minor league side regardless," Syndergaard said, per MLB.com. "I know there's a business standpoint to it and there's other things I need to work on on the mound."
Syndergaard posted a 5.19 ERA in four spring starts, striking out 10 batters and walking five over 8 2/3 innings. He will open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, with a likely promotion to the majors this summer.
"The message was, 'We'll see you pretty soon,' basically," Syndergaard said. "That's always a good thing to hear."
"Today was a big test,'' manager Terry Collins said. "You've got the Atlanta Braves. The leadoff hitter is as big as you are. That kind of shows you aren't in Kansas anymore. You're where the big guys play, and he handled it.''
Syndergaard has established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, ranking in the top 16 on both the Baseball America and MLB.com preseason top-prosect lists. He went 9-4 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 133:28 K:BB ratio in 117 2/3 innings between high Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamtom last season.
The 21-year-old Syndergaard has yet to pitch professionally beyond 13 innings last year at the Rookie League level, but he has already earned the praise of Terry Collins and could land in the Mets rotation sometime this season.
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||R-GCL Blue Jays||0||1||2.77||5||5||0||1||0||13.0||11||7||4||0||0||4||6|
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