Noah more at ease in 2nd season with club

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- On his first day in the spring-training clubhouse at big-league camp this year, Noah Syndergaard certainly felt more comfortable than his arrival a season ago.

Syndergaard, now 21, had been acquired on Dec. 17, 2012 along with Travis d'Arnaud in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Noah Syndergaard pitched in the Futures Game last July at Citi Field.

"I got my feet wet, and I'm not the new guy really anymore," Syndergaard said Sunday. "That's always comforting. I feel a lot more comfortable. I'm kind of a shy guy. It takes me a while to get accustomed to everybody."

Syndergaard still remembers how nervous he was a year ago when he arrived at the complex and threw for the organization for the first time, with a huge contingent watching.

"I remember being really nervous, and just going out there and trying to tune everything out," Syndergaard said. "I had seen a number of Mets front-office guys and my parents were there, too."

Syndergaard went a combined 9-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 23 starts between Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton last season. He had a 1.147 WHIP and struck out 133 in 117 2/3 innings.

He is expected to open this season at Triple-A Las Vegas and debut sometime after the Super 2 deadline -- no earlier than mid-June. That would delay his arbitration eligibility by a year.

"I do a pretty good job of trying to block it out, but being traded for a Cy Young winner kind of puts a little bit of pressure on you to live up to those standards," Syndergaard said. "Hopefully I can live up to those standards."

Syndergaard has experience at Citi Field. He tossed a scoreless inning in the Futures Game during last July's All-Star festivities while representing Team USA.

"It was awesome. It was an unbelievable experience," Syndergaard said. "It gave me a little taste of what it's like to pitch on that mound. I felt real comfortable on that mound, and hopefully I can call it home in a couple of months, or later this year."