Whenever this Major League Baseball season begins, it won’t include Noah Syndergaard.
The Mets right-hander has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will undergo Tommy John surgery that will keep him sidelined into 2021, the team announced.
Syndergaard, according to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, had discomfort in the elbow some weeks ago. A subsequent MRI exam revealed the ligament tear, and a second opinion confirmed the diagnosis.
Syndergaard’s surgery will be performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is expected to keep him sidelined until at least next April. The typical rehab is 14-15 months.
“Noah is an incredibly hard worker and a tremendous talent,” Van Wagenen said in a statement. “While this is unfortunate we have no doubt that Noah will be able to return to full strength and continue to be an integral part of our Championship pursuits in the future.”
The 27-year-old Syndergaard went 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 32 starts last season. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2021 season.
With Syndergaard shelved, the Mets’ rotation depth will be tested. As it stood when spring training was suspended, the team had six starters for five spots. But now Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha would all slot into that rotation.
Syndergaard will become the fifth member of the team’s heralded big five – which once included deGrom, Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler – to undergo Tommy John surgery.