Noah Syndergaard threw off the Citi Field mound Sunday afternoon, hours before the Mets hosted the Phillies.
Later this week, the right-hander could be pitching in a big league game.
Syndergaard threw 15-20 pitches in live batting practice to Luis Guillorme and Jose Peraza as he continued his long comeback from Tommy John surgery, which was delayed earlier this month by COVID-19.
There is a chance Syndergaard’s next outing could come with the Mets, though manager Luis Rojas said the team was still weighing that versus sending him on a rehab assignment.
“It went really good,” Rojas said. “It was fastball/changeup mix and I think the [velocity] is about the same, somewhere in the mid-90s. … It was very encouraging to see Noah throwing the ball like he did today.”
If the Mets opt for a rehab assignment, only Triple-A Syracuse is still playing this week, with a road series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“I don’t have [the decision] right now because that will be the conversation on knowing what type of adrenaline rush he will have in a big league game versus probably a little bit more control pitching in a rehab assignment where he’s still feeling for his stuff,” Rojas said. “And he’s gradually progressing still, getting to us. So balancing that, and knowing what’s going to be best for Noah’s health is probably what’s going to lead to that.”
Syndergaard, an impending free agent, hasn’t pitched for the Mets since Sept. 29, 2019.
J.D. Davis went 0-for-3 in the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Phillies on Sunday night — his first start since Sept. 9 — in place of Jonathan Villar at third base. Villar got jammed on a pitch Saturday night and was in “great pain at the moment,” Rojas said, but he was expected to still be available off the bench.
Rojas said he was aware of players on the Mets’ High-A Brooklyn affiliate wearing wristbands Saturday night to protest insufficient pay for minor leaguers.
“I think those guys standing for something that they believe, you’ve got to respect that,” said Rojas, who managed multiple minor league affiliates before arriving in Queens. “If there’s going to be an upgrade there, I’ll be one of the guys to say, ‘Yeah, that would be great.’ These are guys that are choosing baseball as their career, and immediately they want some impact when it comes down to their economic choice. I’ll be someone that will support that if they’re voicing it.”
The president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, was at Citi Field for Sunday’s game and threw out the first pitch.