07/22 22:02 CDT Syndergaard to DL again due to hand-foot-and-mouth disease
Syndergaard to DL again due to hand-foot-and-mouth disease
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) --- In the latest bizarre medical development for the baffling
New York Mets, ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard is headed back to the disabled list
after contracting hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
The team figures it's likely Syndergaard caught the contagious virus when he
made an appearance at a baseball camp for kids last Thursday during the
All-Star break. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said that probably explains why
Syndergaard weakened and his velocity decreased during Friday night's victory
at Yankee Stadium.
"Hand-foot-and-mouth, are you serious? I guess it's very uncommon in adults,
period," Callaway said Sunday. "It's kind of odd. Maybe the first DL stint in
Major League Baseball with hand-foot-and-mouth? I don't know. A record or
According to WebMD.com, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious disease
that "most often occurs in children under 10 and is characterized by a rash of
small blister-like sores on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and in
the mouth. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and headache."
The disease can spread from one person to another through saliva or fluid from
blisters, among other things, and the infection normally passes in a week. The
only treatment is a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, according to the
"It took its toll the other night. He had trouble breathing, and that's why you
saw his velo down," Callaway said. "During the game, we couldn't quite figure
it out. But I put my hands on his legs to talk to him when he came out, and I
felt his legs shaking. He was just weak and run down."
Syndergaard, who missed most of last season with a torn lat muscle, just
returned from the disabled list July 13 after being sidelined for more than six
weeks with a strained ligament in his right index finger. He is 6-1 with a 2.89
ERA in 13 starts this year for the struggling Mets, who began the night last in
the NL East.
Assistant general manager John Ricco said the pitcher will be placed on the
10-day DL again Monday. Syndergaard stayed home Sunday and Callaway said no
other members of the team have shown symptoms of the disease.
"It's not a long-term thing and hopefully he misses one start," Ricco said.
New York initially planned to recall rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt from
Triple-A Las Vegas to pitch in Syndergaard's place Wednesday against his
hometown San Diego Padres. But after Sunday night's scheduled game versus the
Yankees was postponed because of rain, the Mets listed their starters for
Tuesday and Wednesday as TBA.
The game against their crosstown rivals will be made up in the Bronx on Aug. 13.
The news regarding Syndergaard came two days after an alarming health
revelation from slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who said he might need surgery on both
heels that would require an eight-to-10-month recovery.
"I think he probably was a little bit frustrated that it was more painful than
he expected. So I can't speak for why or how he said it, but he did say it and
I think we have to take it seriously," Ricco said.
"I don't think it's a disconnect," he added. "It's not like he's been saying
this for months and we haven't been listening. For the first time, to our
knowledge, when he was considering the surgery was when he said that."
The 32-year-old Cespedes homered Friday night in his return from the DL after
missing two months with a strained right hip flexor. He disclosed after the
game that calcification on his heels has bothered him for 15 years and caused
the lower-body injuries that have limited him to 119 games in 1 seasons since
he signed a $110 million, four-year contract.
"They're all connected," Ricco said. "So you've got to treat the whole problem.
We got him to where the legs are strong, but the heel's an issue. If he can
manage the pain, he can play.
"Surgery hasn't been a consideration up until this point, until he really
brought it up the other night."
New York initially planned to use Cespedes as the designated hitter Saturday
against the Yankees and then start him in the outfield Sunday night, but he was
sore Saturday and did not play.
He felt better Sunday and offered to be the DH. But before the game was called,
the Mets held him out of the posted lineup again and said he would be monitored
throughout the night to see if he might be available off the bench.
"It's something that he's managed, we've managed with him. It's one of these
things, he has good days, bad days with it. It's a condition that, surgery is
definitely kind of a last-resort thing," Ricco said. "The way you treat this is
with various conservative methods, whether they be orthotics, stretching,
anti-inflammatories, and that's kind of how he's managed those symptoms over
the past years. In this case, he was checked out down in Florida a few weeks
ago and it was the same diagnosis. The surgery is fairly radical. It's going to
put you out for a while. So it's not something that you look to do immediately."
Cespedes will be examined by doctors Monday, according to Ricco.
"We're not at odds with him by any stretch. He's agreeing with every step of
the way, the treatment that we've given him, to the point where he was anxious
to come back, he was feeling good and then he came back and he felt this on
Friday," Ricco said. "I would tell you there's no disconnect. I spoke to his
agent a half-hour ago and we're all on the same page."
In other news, the Mets recalled reliever Paul Sewald from Las Vegas. He fills
the roster spot that opened when closer Jeurys Familia was traded to Oakland on
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