Is Phillies starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard avoiding the Mets?

Noah Syndergaard #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Noah Syndergaard #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Phillies pitcher Noah Syndergaard will not face his former team this weekend.

In his first full season removed from Tommy John surgery in spring 2020, new Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard has largely gone through his seventh big-league season unscathed.

But, out of precaution, the 2016 New York Mets All-Star has been getting extra rest this season — both as a member of the Los Angeles Angels and currently as a Phillie.

Of Syndergaard’s 18 starts, he received more than the normal four days’ rest in all but one — the right-hander’s most recent outing, Monday against the Cincinnati Reds, in which he tossed seven innings allowing just three runs in the eventual 4-3 win.

Syndergaard was originally lined up to make his fourth start with the Phillies on five days’ rest in Sunday’s four-game home series finale against the division-leading Mets. The Phillies announced on Wednesday that instead, he will get six days of rest and face the Reds the following day, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber.

As’s Anthony DiComo notes, this is not the first time this season in which a Syndergaard start — originally slated against the Mets — was pushed back.

Back in June with the Angels, Syndergaard was slated to face his former team for the first time before receiving extra rest (seven days) to instead face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Syndergaard went on to toss 4 2/3 innings in the eventual 2-0 Angels road defeat — allowing just one run on two hits and three walks spanning 82 pitches.

A question that has been raised among fans on social media is whether Syndergaard is intentionally avoiding the Mets.

Before the Phillies’ recent series against Buck Showalter-led squad, the right-hander described to media his “whirlwind of emotions” coming back to Citi Field. When asked about leaving the Mets to pitch in a different uniform this season, the 29-year-old told reporters:

"“It was only a one-year deal. It wasn’t like I signed for 10 years with the Yankees. I just needed a little break.”"

One could understand why Syndergaard might rather face the Reds instead of the Mets this coming weekend, but to him to get seven days’ rest in June to instead face the potent Dodgers raises some questions. Maybe the pending free-agent has some nostalgia and would welcome a return to the Mets in the offseason.

In six seasons with the Mets from 2015-19 and 2021, Syndergaard went 47-31 with a 3.32 ERA and 777-166 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 121 appearances (120) starts and 718 innings.

So far, the Phillies are a perfect 3-0 in Syndergaard starts — with him going 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA and 12-2 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 18 innings against the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, and Cincinnati Reds.

If Syndergaard continues to succeed in red pinstripes — and considering the Phillies recently parted ways with their former No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak to acquire him — one would think President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski would do whatever it takes to bring him back for the 2023 season.

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