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With RHP Dillon Gee DL-bound, Noah Syndergaard to make Mets debut

PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Mets placed right-hander Dillon Gee on the disabled list Friday, paving the way for top prospect Noah Syndergaard to make his major league debut Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Gee tweaked a groin muscle during his most recent start, last Sunday against the Washington Nationals.

He had been scheduled to face the Philadelphia Phillies this Sunday.

Instead, Bartolo Colon will move up a day to take that start on standard rest. Jacob deGrom now will face the Cubs in Monday's series opener, followed by Syndergaard in his Tuesday debut.

The Mets had the choice of promoting Syndergaard or fellow top prospect Steven Matz from Triple-A Las Vegas. General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets selected Syndergaard because he also spent the full 2014 season in the Pacific Coast League, whereas Matz had just risen to that level this season.

"This is a year-plus in Triple-A," Alderson said about Syndergaard. "He's certainly done a nice job there to date, given his last three starts have been overpowering. So, from that standpoint, we think he's deserving, and he'll be here to pitch."

Syndergaard, 22, is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts this season with Las Vegas. The production has come despite dealing with a forearm strain that briefly delayed his start to the regular season, as well as food poisoning in April. He had a 19-inning scoreless streak snapped on Thursday at Albuquerque.

Matz, a 23-year-old left-hander, is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA.

"Steve's done a great job, too, but he's only pitched 30, 35 innings or so at Triple-A," Alderson said. "He's got a lot of talent, a lot of potential, and would be an equally qualified candidate."

Syndergaard is due to join the Mets on Saturday in Philadelphia. He will throw his normal bullpen session between starts with the major league club.

Syndergaard was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Travis d'Arnaud and minor league outfielder Wuilmer Becerra on Dec. 17, 2012, for R.A. Dickey and three catchers.

He features an upper-90s fastball as well as a curveball that manager Terry Collins once labeled the "hook from hell."

Syndergaard has made headlines for other reasons this year, too. During spring training, veterans David Wright and Bobby Parnell spotted him eating lunch in the clubhouse during a Grapefruit League game. They tossed his plate and instructed him to head to the bench. Last month, after being scratched with the food poisoning, Syndergaard received a lecture from Mets brass because he tweeted at a belligerent follower: "I'm sure you call in sick to your pathetic 9-5 job all the time. Or you might not even have one."