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.
Friday night, general manager Sandy Alderson called Syndergaard "well deserving" of the chance, which came when Dillon Gee landed on the disabled list with a mild groin strain.
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With a 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 an 0.82 ERA with 27 strikeouts and just two walks in 22 innings. "I have no expectations," Terry Collins said. "I want him to come up and pitch his game."
Gee (0-2, 3.86 ERA) had been slated to start Sunday against the Phillies. But because of off days last week, the Mets simply moved Bartolo Colon into Sunday's start on regular rest with Jacob deGrom to follow on Monday. That allowed Syndergaard to slot in Tuesday with regular rest.
Experience allowed Syndergaard, 22, to earn the promotion over Long Island lefthander Steven Matz (4-1, 2.04 ERA), another worthy candidate.
"This is a year-plus at Triple-A and he's certainly done a nice job there to date [and] 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 promotion. But Colon expressed his preference to pitch Sunday when given the choice, which would have been Matz's turn to pitch on regular rest.
According to Collins, Triple-A manager Wally Backman said both Syndergaard and Matz were ready for the challenge.