51s projected opening day starter throws heat with a hook from hell

I’ve got your 51s opening day starter, right here.

His name is Noah Syndergaard. He’s this year’s Zack Wheeler. He probably won’t be here long, so catch him while you can.

I remember writing that about Zack Wheeler last year. Then he got dry balls. Then the Mets called him up. Then he went 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA for the Mets, which is pretty good.

Wheeler made a little news after he got called up when he said our arid weather dried out baseballs, making them harder to grip and harder to pitch. Wheeler was 4-2 with a 3.93 ERA for the 51s, so some people weren’t buying the dry balls thing.

Noah Syndergaard is 6-foot-6 and weighs 240 pounds. “The kid is throwing 97 mph with a hook from hell — really impressive” is what Mets manager Terry Collins told the New York baseball writers after watching Syndergaard throw 40 pitches on the first day of spring training.

The New York baseball writers say Syndergaard probably will be called up from Las Vegas in June or July. Pretty much like Zack Wheeler was.

They reported he was “amped up” to throw 97 mph with a hook from hell.

No one mentioned our dry baseballs.

But somebody said his starts here probably would be limited to five innings. This is because the Mets have a lot of money tied up in Syndergaard and don’t want to risk hurting his arm, and because unlike Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal and Fergie Jenkins, these new pitchers almost never finish what they start.