LOS ANGELES — Noah Syndergaard at least looked the part on Saturday.
Dressed in his full road uniform before the Mets faced the Dodgers, the right-hander threw 20 pitches in live batting practice, facing rehabbing Francisco Lindor and Luis Guillorme. It was a second session facing hitters since the restart to his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
“He looked good,” Lindor said before the Mets’ 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. “His [velocity] is obviously not where he wants it, but he’s still got some time. His fastball looks firm from my point of view. His fastball would move when he wanted to make it move and his changeup had some good depth, so I like where he’s at right now. It was 11 o’clock [in the morning] when I was facing him. Things change a little when it’s seven o’clock [at night].”
Syndergaard said he felt “pretty good,” but was unsure about the next step.
Noah Syndergaard (left) threw 20 pitches in live batting practice before the Mets’ 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.Getty Images
“We’ll figure it out in the next couple of days,” he said.
Acting general manager Zack Scott has indicated that Syndergaard could be utilized out of the bullpen to expedite his return to the Mets without needing a complete buildup in the minor leagues.
Javier Baez, who is rehabbing from back spasms, ran the bases and took indoor batting practice, but didn’t participate in the simulated game. He is eligible for removal from the injured list on Sunday, but it’s unclear if he will be activated.
“I’m ready,” Baez said. “It’s up to them. I want to go out there.”
The Mets had drawn just two walks in their last three games entering play, which manager Luis Rojas said was the result of hitters expanding their strike zones.
“When you expand you put yourself in a position to make weaker contact and we’re a team that is at the bottom in exit velocity and that correlates to walking less, so that is what we’re doing,” Rojas said.
“There’s a lot of guys that have walked in the past that just haven’t done it this year because they have been expanding. We’re working hard to get them back on track and to see if those guys can get hot, either walking and getting on base or also hitting the ball hard.”