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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

No, Noah Syndergaard is not avoiding pitching against his former team

Noah Syndergaard in the dugout

May 14, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) looks on from the dugout during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets did not have an amicable parting of ways last offseason, and the pitcher has yet to pitch against his former team. Now with the Philadelphia Phillies, Syndergaard has still managed to avoid the Mets, and it has the look of a modest conspiracy about it.

Syndergaard has been scheduled to start against the Mets twice this season, but has had both starts pushed back instead. Instead of ducking the Mets, however, this is because of how Syndergaard’s health is being handled. Syndergaard has been pitching on extra rest all season as a precaution following Tommy John surgery, and is sticking to that schedule now.

At first glance, it is easy to see why this looks strange. When you remember what Syndergaard said about leaving New York, it’s pretty simple to construct a full-blown conspiracy theory here. However, in 18 starts in 2022, Syndergaard has had six days rest or more for all but four of them, not counting his first start of the season. This amount of rest is why the Angels felt no need to limit his innings.

Syndergaard has never shied away from calling out critics. It’s tough to imagine him ducking his former team.

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