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As the Mets' rotational battle commences on the first day of spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., manager Luis Rojas said Noah Syndergaard was on hand to pitch a side bullpen session. According to Rojas, Syndergaard was impressive.
"Noah threw today, threw a side. He looked really good," Rojas said. "We're still on schedule with him, in what we said in the past."
That schedule was potentially around June, as team president Sandy Alderson had said earlier this offseason. Rojas also mentioned earlier that Syndergaard was right on track, if not a bit ahead of schedule with his Tommy John surgery rehab.
Syndergaard has been throwing from a slope of a mound since at least Nov. 12, which is definitely a great sign. He's also shown himself throwing on a mound on Feb. 6 (with no shirt, of course), saying, "There's a storm a-brewing."
So that's all good to see, and Rojas must be pleased about where the hard-throwing righty is at. Obviously, other benchmarks like live batting practice and simulated games must be checked before Syndergaard is close to returning. But as long as he remains on track, the Mets will see him sooner rather than later in the rotation.
In the meantime, David Peterson or Joey Lucchesi -- as of right now -- figure to hold down the back of the rotation with Syndergaard out. Taijuan Walker, who SNY’s Andy Martino said is the team's current top target on the free agent market, could sign and make even more battles in camp. Jake Odorizzi is also available.