New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who's working his way back from Tommy John surgery performed in late March of last year, had been scheduled to make a rehab start for High-A Brooklyn on Sunday. Not long before that start, however, Mets manager Luis Rojas announced that Syndergaard had been scratched because of a "non-baseball related injury."
The team's characterization that Syndergaard has an "injury" turned out to be somewhat misleading, as multiple reporters, including from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, said that Syndergaard was scratched after he tested positive for COVID-19. Syndergaard, who celebrated his 29th birthday Sunday, appeared to confirm the reports in a tweet.
According to Tim Healey of Newsday, Rojas says Syndergaard was vaccinated. Healey also reports that no other Mets players will be unavailable on account of contact tracing pursuant to Syndergaard's positive test.
Syndergaard's uncertain timeline for resuming his rehab assignment in tandem with the fact that it's almost September mean it's possible he may not pitch for the Mets this season. That's especially the case given that the Mets have drifted from serious contention in recent weeks. Coming into Sunday's slate, the Mets stand at 62-67, and the SportsLine Projection System gives them just a 2.2 percent chance of making the postseason.
As for Syndergaard, he hasn't pitched in the majors since the 2019 season, when he registered a 4.28 ERA and 4.04 K/BB ratio in 197 2/3 innings. He's eligible for free agency this coming offseason.