Noah Syndergaard has tested positive for COVID-19, per several reporters, including Tim Healey of Newsday Sports. The righty was scheduled to make a rehab appearance today as he continues his arduous journey back to the big leagues, which he hasn’t seen in almost two years. Instead, it will be yet another setback in a year full of them for Syndergaard.
Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2020, it’s been nothing but stops and starts for Thor in 2021. He initially started a rehab stint in May but was shut down after just two starts due to elbow inflammation. He then began a second rehab stint on Thursday, throwing just one inning, with the aim of returning as a reliever since there’s no longer enough time in the season to get properly stretched out as a starter. Now he will have to put everything on pause again due to this positive test.
This is yet another disappointment in a month full of them for the Mets. After leading the NL East for much of the season, they’ve gone 7-19 in August and now find themselves 7 1/2 games behind the Braves, with the Phillies in between them. They were already facing a difficult decision with Syndergaard, given that he’s approaching free agency and is a candidate for a qualifying offer. If healthy, he is a potential top-of-rotation starter and certainly worth the money. But the club will have to judge his health based on whatever small sample of work he can produce in the dwindling number of remaining games. With yet another setback, the sample they will use to make that decision has now gotten even smaller.