Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo cross paths on rehab trail

Noah Syndergaard’s aura beat his arm back to the mound.

Before one rehabbing Met faced another in a live batting practice ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals, they locked eyes in the clubhouse.

“He saw me,” Brandon Nimmo said, “He said, ‘You’re the enemy today.’ ”

Syndergaard threw about 15-20 pitches against Nimmo, Luis Rojas said, as the righty tries to make his way back to the mound this season, and the outfielder attempts a quick return from a strained right hamstring.

If Syndergaard completes his comeback from March 2020 Tommy John surgery and plenty of setbacks since — including a positive test for COVID-19 late last month that halted his rehab assignment — it would come as a reliever and would not come with breaking pitches, which doctors have advised him against throwing.

His velocity off the Citi Field mound against Nimmo was a bit below the mid-90s, Rojas said, though he cautioned Syndergaard was not throwing 100 percent.

“It’s a good step for Noah,” said Rojas, who was not sure about the next step. It’s possible he throws another live batting practice, but the Mets want to wait to see how he feels Thursday.

New York Mets Noah Syndergaard in the dugout during the 7th inning.
Noah Syndergaard still plans to return to the Mets this season.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“He looked good,” Nimmo said of Syndergaard. “It’s a long break, so he’s trying to get a feel for all his stuff again.”

Nimmo is closer and could rejoin the team as soon as Friday for the series opener with Philadelphia. There was doubt whether he would play again this season after sustaining the injury Sept. 4, but he has healed quickly and ran the bases as well as took fly balls Wednesday.

Nimmo said the club’s training staff was trying to be cautious with him, but his hamstring feels good. He is not going all-out, but he hasn’t felt it pull at him.

“I’ve been able to pass all the tests, so I think it has surpassed all expectations,” said Nimmo, whose top-of-the-order bat has been missed.

Brandon Nimmo
Brandon Nimmo
Robert Sabo for the NY Post

The Mets had lost seven of 11 games they played without Nimmo entering Wednesday, and he said missing Tuesday’s heartbreaker against St. Louis was “killing” him.

The club’s distant presence in a playoff push “is a big pull,” Nimmo said. “With where the team’s at, the season’s at, we’re running out of time.”

As is Jacob deGrom, who played shortstop during the live batting practice and later shagged balls in the outfield. DeGrom threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and the Mets still hope he can be a late-season factor with 2 1/2 weeks left. DeGrom has not pitched since July 7.

New York Post

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