DENVER — Sidelined for close to a month with a finger injury, Noah Syndergaard said Wednesday he is surprised at how long it is taking him to come back, but he has felt strong while beginning a throwing program this week and is trying to block out trade-rumor noise.
Syndergaard has played catch each day this week, including at 120 feet Wednesday, and will take Thursday off. The next step comes Friday, when he will remove the tape — “a little modified splint,” he called it — that protects the strained ligament in his right index finger.
“The symptoms have completely subsided, so I’m ready to go,” the Mets righthander said. “Ready to get back on the mound and get back to competing.”
Syndergaard hasn’t pitched since May 25 in Milwaukee, when he felt the finger pain in the middle innings. He said it didn’t affect his velocity or pitch movement, but he and the team decided to play it safe and put him on the disabled list.
“I’m quite surprised [I’m still out], actually,” Syndergaard said. “But it could have escalated into such a bigger ordeal. It was nice to catch it early.”
Keeping up with his shoulder/arm strength program has helped. “I feel like I’m throwing rockets,” Syndergaard said. He would be comfortable without a rehab start, though pitching coach Dave Eiland has said he’ll need at least one.
Syndergaard’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors as the Mets contemplate their direction and remain open to listening to offers for their players.
“To be quite honest, I haven’t really been paying much attention to that mumbo jumbo,” Syndergaard said. “I can only control what’s in my control. If that were to happen, that’s completely outside of what I’m capable of controlling.”
Ramos has surgery
AJ Ramos had successful surgery to repair the torn labrum in his right shoulder Wednesday. He is done for the season.
Manager Mickey Callaway said Ramos believes the injury affected his performance (and 6.41 ERA) this year.
“He was trying to battle through something and it came to a point where it started affecting his ability to get outs,” Callaway said. “So we had to address it.”
An MRI revealed a strain in Jay Bruce’s right hip, a step up in seriousness from the previously used term, soreness. Callaway didn’t know how long Bruce will be out . . . The Mets recalled Chris Flexen from and optioned Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas — opting to keep Tim Peterson (1.42 ERA, seven strikeouts in 6 1⁄3 innings). “He deserves to be up here right now,” Callaway said of Peterson. “We need a guy like him to help us out.”
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.