The Mets possess one of the best crops of starting pitchers in baseball, but those young arms are as snakebitten as they are talented.
After suffering a partial lat tear and leaving Sunday’s start in pain, Noah Syndergaard became the sixth starter on the Mets’ 40-man roster to have dealt with a long-term injury since the team’s NL pennant run in 2015. All are younger than 30 and combine for a career ERA of 3.02 over 1,965 innings for the Mets.
As a refresher, here’s a look at the other young arms who’ve been stymied by health concerns.
The 26-year-old righty returned to the mound last month after missing the past two seasons. He missed the Mets’ World Series berth after preseason Tommy John surgery, then saw his bid to return last summer halted while making rehab starts with the St. Lucie Mets.
The Dark Knight already missed 2014 after Tommy John surgery, but came back strong in 2015. Last season wasn’t as kind to the right-hander, and his season was cut short after 17 starts when he underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Counting five starts this season, the 28-year-old’s ERA since the World Series is 4.71.
The “elder statesman” of the current rotation — he turns 29 next month — battled his way to a 3.04 ERA in 24 starts last season. But the righty’s road was rocky as he dealt with lat tightness in April, plus early health complications with his newborn son. His season ultimately ended in mid-September to have surgery on his ulnar nerve.
The lefty can’t catch a break. As the fifth starter a year ago, Matz had his share of ups and downs while pitching with bone spurs in his elbow, which limited him to 22 starts. The 25-year-old still has not pitched since Aug. 14, and he currently sits on the 10-day disabled list with a flexor tendon strain.
The right-hander looked promising in the first eight starts of his big-league career in 2016. The 27-year-old, who pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, has been on the DL since before Opening Day with a slight UCL tear that, as of yet, won’t require Tommy John surgery. He’s targeting a return at the end of the month.