PHILADELPHIA - It took an injury and a pinch of fortuitous timing. But on Tuesday at Wrigley Field, top Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard will make his long-anticipated major-league debut.
General manager Sandy Alderson called Syndergaard "well deserving" of the chance, which came about when righthander Dillon Gee landed on the disabled list with what the team is calling a mild groin strain.
With a blazing fastball that reaches the high 90s, Syndergaard posted a 3-0 mark with a 1.82 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas. In his last three starts, he has been particularly dominant, with an 0.82 ERA with 27 strikeouts and just two walks in 22 innings.
Gee (0-2, 3.86 ERA) had been slated to start Sunday against the Phillies. But because of days off last week, the Mets simply moved Bartolo Colon into Sunday's start on regular rest with Jacob deGrom to follow Monday.
That allowed Syndergaard to slot in Tuesday, when he can pitch on regular rest.
Syndergaard, 22, earned the promotion over Long Island lefty Steven Matz (4-1, 2.04 ERA), who also had pitched well enough to warrant a promotion.
But Alderson confirmed a Newsday report Friday when he said Syndergaard's edge in experience helped shape the team's decision.
He pitched at Las Vegas last season and Matz, 23, is in his first season in the Pacific Coast League.
"This is a year-plus at Triple-A and he's certainly done a nice job there to date, given his last three starts have really been overpowering," Alderson said of Syndergaard. "So from that standpoint, he's deserving."
Alderson called Matz "an equally qualified candidate" for a promotion.
Colon expressed his preference to pitch Sunday when given the chance, which would have been Matz's turn to pitch on regular rest.
"So, practicality comes into play," Alderson said.