Noah Syndergaard to Return from DL vs. Nationals After Finger Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2018

Injured New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard watches from the dugout during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The New York Mets are getting their ace back.

Manager Mickey Callaway said right-hander Noah Syndergaard will take the hill Friday against the Washington Nationals, per Erin Fish of MLB.com. Syndergaard has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of a strained ligament in the index finger on his pitching hand, but the manager said he "feels great" after his Wednesday bullpen session.

Fish noted Syndergaard allowed two hits and a run in five innings during a Sunday rehab appearance with Class A Short-Season Brooklyn.

The Mets have fallen apart without him and are an ugly 36-53 on the campaign. They are 14.5 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East after a hot start and face an uphill climb to play meaningful baseball down the stretch.

Durability is a concern for Syndergaard after he made just seven starts last year because of a torn right lat.

When healthy, he is a force and sports a 3.06 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 11 starts this season. His talent was on full display in 2016 when he made his first career All-Star Game and finished the campaign with a 2.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 218 strikeouts in 183.2 innings.

Any hope the Mets have at climbing back into the postseason race during the second half of the season falls on Syndergaard's shoulders and whether he can remain healthy as the anchor of the rotation.