Pitching for Class A St. Lucie, Syndergaard was scheduled to throw at least four innings as he returns from Tommy John surgery, but he ended up leaving after 16 pitches. Syndergaard had pitched four scoreless innings in his first outing for St. Lucie, allowing one hit with five strikeouts while throwing 44 pitches, and the Mets were considering moving him up to Triple-A Syracuse after Tuesday's start.
According to Trackman data published on Twitter by Baseball Prospectus, Syndergaard's first pitch on Tuesday was a four-seam fastball that registered 95.3 mph. Eleven of the 16 pitches registered as changeups, with the final one clocking at 91.7 mph and several dipping into the 80s. It's unlikely Syndergaard would be throwing that many changeups in a rehab start in Class A, especially in the first inning, so a sudden dip in velocity like that is usually viewed with significant concern.
Mets manager Luis Rojas, speaking after the team's win against the Rockies on Tuesday night, said he was told that Syndergaard felt more of a discomfort than a soreness and that the right-hander will be reevaluated Wednesday.
"No one is overly concerned. More preventive than anything," Rojas told reporters.
"You expect that there may be a speed bump on the road there when you're on rehab assignment, and this is one of them."
On Monday, Mets acting general manager Zack Scott had said Syndergaard was on track for a mid-June return to the major league rotation.
Jacob deGrom did return to the Mets' rotation on Tuesday, but Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker remain two of 16 Mets on the injured list. Carrasco, out with a torn hamstring, isn't expected back until late June or July. Walker, out with left side tightness, threw live batting practice on Tuesday, and the Mets will see how he responds before activating him.
Seth Lugo, out all season with an elbow injury, is eligible to be activated May 31 and has made a couple of rehab appearances in the minors. Scott said he will pitch out of the bullpen when he returns.
In another setback on Tuesday, third baseman J.D. Davis was returning to New York from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse for more treatment on his sprained left hand. He has been out since May 1, and he was expected to play at least three more games with Syracuse. However, the team will now be looking to determine next steps.
After Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Rockies, the Mets announced a trade, acquiring outfielder Billy McKinney from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league left-hander Pedro Quintana. Right-hander Jordan Yamamoto was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.