Noah Syndergaard is the second-most famous Mets pitcher to deal with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan experienced it in 1968, and then the Mets’ treatment of choice was . . . pickle juice.
That does not appear to be part of Syndergaard’s regimen. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had no update on the righthander’s blister, which forced him to leave after six scoreless innings against the Braves Monday on Opening Day.
“Super Glue is 2017 protocol,’’ Alderson said Wednesday. “There is stuff that you can do to help heal the blister.’’
Alderson would not say what care Syndergaard is receiving but did not seem concerned the blister would be an ongoing issue. Syndergaard said Thursday they’re “just putting this fancy cream on it and that’s about it.”
Asked how the finger is healing, he said: “They don’t have to amputate it. I’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”
Dodgers lefty Rich Hill, a former member of the Long Island Ducks, missed several weeks last season because of a blister on his left middle finger.
Speaking from Round Rock, Texas, Ryan, 70, said the blister comes from “people throwing across the seams, that’s where the grip is. Once you get a blister, that skin on the blister’s dead and you have to get enough new skin on there where it’s not sensitive. So that’s where the pickle brine might come in.
“I don’t know that being a power pitcher necessarily makes them more susceptible to it, because I think anybody can get that, depending upon how their release point is on the ball.’’
Ryan said the pickle juice was a remedy employed by then-trainer Gus Mauch.
“The blister prevented me from starting games and they didn’t know how to deal with it, and that’s how the pickle brine came into play,’’ Ryan said. “Mauch got [the idea] through training boxers earlier in his career. They would soak their feet in pickle brine because they’d develop blisters from doing so much road work in those days.’’
Mauch reportedly got the pickle brine from the delicatessen department in Daitch-Shopwell, a supermarket near his home in the Bronx. It seemed to work for one start when Ryan struck out 10.
“What it did for me, the brine, it would toughen your skin,’’ Ryan said. “I would say it had a tendency to thicken your skin, at least make it appear that way.’’
But it did not have a lasting effect, Ryan said.
“Gus retired, the assistant trainer [Tom McKenna] took over as the head trainer and he suggested I take a surgical scalpel and trim all the excess skin off my finger, and that would be the last thing I would do before I went out and pitched. I developed a feel for it. It worked and I did it for the rest of my career.’’
Ryan, who never conquered his wildness with the Mets, was traded to the Angels for third baseman Jim Fregosi in 1971 — forming a scab for Mets fans that never has healed — and went on to become baseball’s all-time strikeout leader with 5,714. He also threw a record seven no-hitters in his 27-year career.
Ryan said he has monitored Syndergaard, a fellow Texan who grew up in Mansfield, about 200 miles from Round Rock.
“I watched his career,” Ryan said. “I remember when he was drafted. Somewhere down the road our paths will cross and I’ll have the opportunity to visit with him.’’
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