Noah Syndergaard says the weight has not been lifted from his shoulders, just his lat muscle.
"I'm still lifting heavy but in a more smart way," Syndergaard said Thursday, dressed as an elf at the Mets' annual holiday party for children. "Last year was not the necessarily the most smart thing I was supposed to be doing in terms of exercises and choice. I did a lot of pull-ups, and that's primarily a lat exercise, and this year I haven't done one pull-up yet. So it's different. It's still taxing workouts, but my body never felt better."
A 25-year-old right-hander, Syndergaard averaged a career-high 99.6 mph with his fastball this year. But the muscle injury limited him to seven starts and 30 1/3 innings. He made just two appearances for the Mets in his return from the injury, throwing five pitches over an inning against Washington on Sept. 23 and 26 pitches over two innings at Philadelphia on the final day of New York's sorry season.
"I'm extremely confident, just the way I finished the season that last start against the Phillies," Syndergaard said. "I don't think I've ever felt that way before, and I feel like my pitches, my repertoire, even increased even more in terms of like velocity and just straight power."
Syndergaard claimed to have added 17 pounds of muscle last offseason, although Mets general manager
"Worked with me on my sprint mechanics, not that I'm trying to become an Olympic sprinter anytime soon," Syndergaard said, "but just working on overall athleticism so I'm not running like a fat guy in flip-flops anymore."