When you stumble across an organization as dysfunctional as the New York Mets, ridiculous storylines and decisions become commonplace.
This week has pitted one of the team’s best pitchers, Noah Syndergaard, against his manager where once again, Mickey Callaway continues to show just how tone-deaf and unfit he is to lead the clubhouse.
A report from the New York Post revealed that Syndergaard was “livid” with Mets management after he was forced to work Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies alongside catcher and battery mate Wilson Ramos.
Syndergaard has made it known that he would rather work with either of the team’s backup catchers in Tomas Nido or Renee Rivera.
The numbers make a pretty strong argument in Syndergaard’s defense.
In 15 games with Ramos, Syndergaard’s ERA is at a 5.09. He gave up four runs on six hits in five innings against the Phillies on Sunday with the veteran backstop behind the dish.
It was still a step up from the last time those two worked together, though. Syndergaard was hammered for nine earned runs in three innings on Aug. 28 against the Chicago Cubs.
In between those bad outings, he went seven innings against the Washington Nationals, allowing just three hits and no runs.
His catcher? Rivera.
It was the only time this season the two had worked together. But in 29 career starts with him, Syndergaard’s ERA is a 2.59.
In 10 starts with Nido this season, Syndergaard’s ERA is at a 2.45. That number is even better in 22 career starts at 2.17.
Both Nido and Rivera have shown an ability to effectively catch and frame Syndergaard’s stuff — which is predominantly low in the zone.
Ramos, on the other hand, has had his fair share of difficulties handling the fireballing right-hander.
That doesn’t seem to bother Callaway much at all, though.
“You know what, Noah understands that I’m going to make the lineup out,” Callaway told SNY. “And he’s going to go out there and compete for the team. He understands that we’re trying to do something special here and get to the playoff and that everything else is separated from that. So we’re going to continue putting the best players on the field at all times, and every one of our players in there is going to compete to the best of their ability and only worry about the team.”
Ramos is by far the Mets’ best offensive catcher and he’s been red hot at the plate recently. He’s slashing a ridiculous .422/.455/.603 in his last 31 games and he’s too valuable to be out of the lineup when every game is a must-win.
However, Callaway is giving Ramos plenty of days off or bringing him in to pinch-hit. Of those last 31 games, he’s started 26 of them and entered the other five in the seventh inning or later.
He’s also received three full days off as well.
So why not schedule Ramos’ days off or non-starts for when Syndergaard is slated to pitch? Wouldn’t the best lineup include the catcher that ensures your starting pitcher succeeds?
That way, it takes some pressure off the offense to go out and score 10 runs per game because the manager doesn’t know how to properly handle his bullpen.
Callaway’s argument doesn’t hold much water because this is the same man who was playing Todd Frazier over JD Davis or Jeff McNeil at various points throughout the season.
The only thing the Mets manager is doing right now is driving a stake through Syndergaard’s relationship with the team. When working with the right catcher, he’s proven that he can be a top-end starter and he should have the opportunity to be that; even if it’s someplace else.
With trade rumors surrounding Thor having been prevalent for much of the past two seasons, it would be a shame if Callaway’s stubbornness plays a part in a potential Syndergaard exit from Queens down the road.