The Mets' pitching pipeline sprung another leak Monday when it was announced that top starting prospect Noah Syndergaard was placed on the disabled list by the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s retroactive to May 22.
The reason cited in a statement from the Mets was a mild flexor-pronator strain, which often causes pain on the inside of the elbow joint. As a precaution, the righthander was scheduled to fly to New York to be examined by Mets doctors.
General manager Sandy Alderson downplayed the severity of the situation. "At this point, we don't have a high level of concern,'' he said. "But any time the forearm is involved, we like to have it looked at.''
Manager Terry Collins betrayed a greater sense of urgency about the health of a pitcher many believe was expected to be a midsummer call-up. "We're very concerned about it, obviously,'' Collins said.
"I run into a lot of guys who go to the doctor and it's nothing, but I know some that go to the doctor and it's an issue. Any time you're going in and the word 'elbow' shows up, it's an issue. And when you throw as hard as he does, it's a concern."
Syndergaard was acquired by the Mets on Dec. 17, 2012, as part of the trade that sent pitcher R.A. Dickey to Toronto. In his first season at Triple-A, Syndergaard has a 5-2 record with a 4.02 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. He has allowed 59 hits and 19 walks in 532/3 innings, striking out 57.
Asked if Syndergaard showed previous signs of the injury or if it's a recent development, Alderson was uncertain. "I don't believe it's something that's been significant over the last few starts,'' he said. "This was following his last start. I'm not going to tell you categorically it hasn't existed before. I just don't know the precise answer.''