Noah Syndergaard “as of right now” no longer has concerns over who catches his starts, he said Tuesday. But he and manager Mickey Callaway agreed that it was bad that Syndergaard’s continued frustration with having to pitch to Wilson Ramos, expressed most recently over the weekend in conversations with Mets decision-makers, became public.
“It is unfortunate that a private conversation I had with the front office and the coaching staff became public, but it is what it is right now,” said a mostly diplomatic Syndergaard, who noted he had “no idea” his chats with Callaway and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen were going to be leaked Monday.
Callaway said: “I don't think that Noah [leaked that information]. I don't know how that got out. That's part of New York.”
Syndergaard prefers being paired with Tomas Nido (2.45 ERA) and Rene Rivera (his personal catcher in 2016) over Ramos (5.09 ERA), the Mets’ starter. The Mets, who believe Ramos’ bat gives the team the best chance to win, have not obliged, which has made Syndergaard periodically unhappy this year.
This series of events, along with Syndergaard-centric trade rumors in July and last offseason and his public frustration with having to deal with that, raises questions about the 27-year-old former All-Star’s future with the organization.
How is Syndergaard’s relationship with Mets leadership?
“Um, I mean, as of right now, the 25, 40 guys in the clubhouse, those guys are my family,” Syndergaard said.
Syndergaard added he believes he is treated fairly by the Mets, even if he doesn’t get the same personal catcher privileges Jacob deGrom enjoyed last year with Devin Mesoraco, and he feels wanted.
“I’ll admit I can be stubborn at times, but it’s just I want the best for the team,” Syndergaard said. “And I want to go out there and compete to the elite level I think I can compete at. But yeah, I would say that I’m wanted here.”
The New York Post first reported Monday that a “livid” Syndergaard “confronted” Callaway over the issue Saturday. Syndergaard said that characterization is “completely false.”
“We had a very cordial and adult conversation about the matter,” Syndergaard said a day after blowing off a postgame news conference scheduled by a team spokesman. “As far as Wilson, I have nothing but respect for the guy. It doesn’t change our relationship between one another. He busts his [butt] every day. Nothing but respect for him.
“My only main concern was having an open dialogue with the front office and coaching staff with my initial frustration of why there was these extreme splits with different catchers.”
Ramos declined to comment. On previous occasions this season, he has discussed his desire to build relationships with and catch Syndergaard and deGrom, who also worked with Nido for a stretch but has since come to regularly dominate while pitching to Ramos.
Syndergaard said he did not know why he has such dramatic splits with different catchers.
“I’m just trying to look for an answer,” Syndergaard said. “I know in terms of pitchers and catcher, there’s a certain ‘it’ factor, there’s a symbiotic relationship that two guys can possess. It’s about being comfortable out there.”
The difference between Syndergaard wanting a personal catcher and deGrom getting Mesoraco last year, according to Callaway: The 2018 Mets were not in the playoff race and deGrom was chasing the NL Cy Young Award, which he won. Syndergaard said the Mets haven’t explained the difference to him, but he took note of the deGrom/Mesoraco pairing.
“Watching what those two did last year was like watching Bob Ross paint,” Syndergaard said. “It was artful.”
And is that situation similar to Syndergaard having a strong preference now?
“Yeah, I completely agree,” Syndergaard said.
Callaway said he has not decided who will catch Syndergaard on Friday against the Dodgers.
Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, J.D Davis and Drew Gagnon visited a Queens firehouse — Engine 289/Ladder 138 — Tuesday as part of the Mets’ annual 9/11 remembrances. They got a tour, took photos with and signed autographs for firefighters and their families, and tried on gear.
“We look up to them and the job they do — they’re in dangerous situations, they’re helping people, they’re talking about saving people’s lives,” said Matz, a Long Island native whose Tru32 charity raises money for first responders. “We admire that. It’s a lot of fun for us to be here.”
Davis was out of the lineup for the fourth time in nine September games. Callaway said it was because Davis needs days off, but added that the Mets get a “competitive advantage” by having him available off the bench for a partial game (as opposed to playing a full game) . . . The Mets recalled righthander Chris Mazza from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, the first day he could be brought back to the majors after being optioned Aug. 31, a day before rosters expanded . . .Blue Man Group, a performance art show, visited Citi Field. During Mets batting practice, three men covered in blue paint got some of that paint on the bullpen phone used by the coaching staff and players’ equipment in the home dugout.