The New York Mets have lost another key player to injury.
Tuesday afternoon, the team announced right-hander Noah Syndergaard has been placed on the 10-day DL with a strained finger ligament. They did not announce a timetable for his recovery.
Noah Syndergaard was examined today at The Hospital for Special Surgery for soreness in his right index finger. A MRI and clinical examination confirmed a strained ligament in the finger. Syndergaard will be placed on the 10-Day Disabled List, retroactive to May 26.— New York Mets (@Mets) May 29, 2018
Finger injuries are potentially very serious -- former Cleveland Indians top prospect Adam Miller was undone by a series of finger ligament injuries -- but the good news is Syndergaard's arm is okay. His shoulder and elbow are not barking, and the lat injury that sidelined him most of last season has not returned. Also, it does not appear he needs surgery.
That said, losing Syndergaard for any length of time is a significant blow to the Mets, who are 9-16 in May and have slipped to fourth place in the NL East. The 25-year-old Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 (123 ERA+) and 76 strikeouts in 11 starts and 64 2/3 innings this season. With Matt Harvey traded, the team's rotation depth chart looks like this at the moment:
- Jacob deGrom (excellent)
- Noah Syndergaard (on 10-day DL)
- Steven Matz (99 ERA+)
- Zack Wheeler (70 ERA+)
- Jason Vargas (36 ERA+)
Not great. The Mets used rookie southpaw P.J. Conlon as a spot starter during Monday's doubleheader, so he could remain in the rotation to replace Syndergaard, though there's also been talk of moving Seth Lugo back into the rotation. He's been very good in a setup role this year but has started 26 games for the Mets the last two years. Lugo is likely the better rotation option than Conlon, though the bullpen would take a hit.
Syndergaard joins a perpetually long list of injured Mets players. Travis d'Arnaud (Tommy John surgery), Rafael Montero (Tommy John surgery), and Juan Lagares (toe) are all done for the season. Wilmer Flores (back) and AJ Ramos (shoulder) were placed on the disabled list over the weekend. Yoenis Cespedes (hip), Todd Frazier (hamstring), and Anthony Swarzak (oblique) are inching closer to a return, so that's good. Still though, Syndergaard is a player the Mets can't afford to lose long-term.