New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
Photo: AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File
Photo: AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File

Braves rival loses standout pitcher

When the baseball season resumes, eventually, one of the Braves’ rivals will be without a standout pitcher.

The Mets’ Noah Syndergaard has a torn elbow ligament and needs Tommy John surgery that will keep him out of action this year.

Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the virus outbreak.

New York medical director Dr. David Altchek will operate Thursday.

“After experiencing discomfort in his elbow before spring training was suspended due to the pandemic, Noah and our health and performance department have been in constant contact,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement Tuesday. “Based on the persistence of his symptoms, Noah underwent a physical examination and MRI that revealed the ligament tear."

The right-hander received a second opinion on the damaged ulnar collateral ligament from Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

"While this is unfortunate, we have no doubt that Noah will be able to return to full strength and continue to be an integral part of our championship pursuits in the future,” said Van Wagenen, Syndergaard's former agent.

Nicknamed Thor, Syndergaard was the No. 2 starter in a strong rotation behind two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. New York has for now sufficient starters to make up for Syndergaard's absence, with Marcus Stroman, Michael Wacha, Rick Porcello and Steven Matz.

Syndergaard turns 28 in August and currently is eligible to become a free agent after the 2021 season. He agreed in January to a $9.7 million, one-year contract.

Syndergaard was an All-Star in 2016 when he went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA but his ERA has climbed to 2.97 in 2017, 3.05 in 2018 and 4.28 last year, when he was 10-8 in 32 starts.

He pitched eight innings over three spring training starts, allowing four runs — three earned — and five hits with 11 strikeouts and no walks.

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