Mets' Noah Syndergaard open to relief role upon return: 'Whatever is needed of me'

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Noah Syndergaard standing on field at spring training looking straight ahead close crop
Noah Syndergaard standing on field at spring training looking straight ahead close crop

As Noah Syndergaard continues to work his way back from 2020 Tommy John Surgery, the possibility of the right-hander pitching out of the bullpen has been floated at times by acting GM Zack Scott.

Syndergaard was asked Thursday in Los Angeles about the possibility of moving to the bullpen when he makes his return, and his response was short and to the point.

“Whatever is needed of me,” Syndergaard said via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

According to DiComo, Syndergaard did not elaborate on his answer.

With a return possible some time in September, it would make sense for the Mets to at least explore the possibility of pitching the 28-year-old out of the bullpen. The reason being is that a bullpen role would mean less of a ramp-up period for the right-hander as he builds himself back up. With the regular season waning, getting more out of Syndergaard as a reliever could prove to be the more time-efficient option.

“He’s someone that obviously has a lot of talent, has the potential to impact the game, and at this point of the year, we just mentioned sense of urgency, coming in and contributing in a shorter relief outing, whether that’s a two or three inning outing or whatever it may be, I think getting him to help the big league club is the priority when you get down to these last couple months of the season,” Scott said on Aug. 10. “So if we can get him to come back in a relief role faster than you could - which is typically the case, typically you want to stretch a guy out to be a starter, it’s gonna take longer rehab - so I think, we’re looking at September. Getting him back in September in a role where he can help the club in relief would be a good thing for us to do.”

Syndergaard, who had Tommy John Surgery in March of 2020, would provide the Mets some much needed pitching depth, whether as a starter or reliever. Even with Jacob deGrom still shut down from throwing, the Mets currently have a five-man rotation of Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill, Carlos Carrasco, and Rich Hill.

Syndergaard took a huge step forward in his rehab process earlier this week when he pitched a one-inning simulated game in San Francisco.