The big surprise of the R.A. Dickey trade for the New York Mets has been the development of starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard, who was considered to be a secondary prospect in the deal which also netted Travis d'Arnaud, really caught fire for the Mets this season. After quickly moving up to Binghamton last season, the Mets young hurler earned a spot in the Futures Game at Citi Field. Syndergaard, who is widely expected to make his major league debut during the summer, will likely be capped at around 160 innings pitched this season, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.
Syndergaard pitched only 124.1 innings in 2013, a surprisingly low number considering he also appeared in the Futures Game and the AA playoffs. In comparison, Zack Wheeler pitched 149 innings in 2012 before jumping up around 170 in 2013. Syndergaard will start the season in Triple-A before likely making his major league debut around July, assuming he is healthy. Mets assistant GM Paul DePodesta told Rubin that the team won't delay the start of Syndergaard's season to try and keep him around until September, but admitted that the team is considering creative ways to get Syndergaard through the season.
DePodesta said that the Mets may use Syndergaard in relief towards the end of the season to try and keep his innings down throughout the season. The Mets haven't used top pitching prospects in relief work too often, but it has had success with other organizations. The Cardinals used the same approach with Michael Wacha this season, and he ended up helping pitch the Cardinals to the World Series. The innings limits are clearly important to the Mets, and will likely take on a heightened importance with Harvey already done for the year with Tommy John surgery. Even with the limits, Syndergaard's build (6'6, 240 lbs) indicates he should be a durable pitcher during his career.
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