Sandy Alderson: Syndergaard's call to skip MRI on arm

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Saturday that it was unusual for a player to refuse an MRI, as Noah Syndergaard did Friday, but said, "I can't strap him down and throw him in the tube."

Syndergaard is scheduled to start Sunday after he was pulled from his start Thursday because of biceps and shoulder discomfort. Syndergaard was scheduled for an MRI on Friday, but after throwing a bullpen session, he said he felt great and ready to go against the Washington Nationals.

"I think I know my body best," Syndergaard told reporters. "I'm pretty in tune with my body, and that's exactly why I refused to take the MRI."

Syndergaard is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four starts.

Alderson talked at length Saturday about the Mets' flurry of injuries and said the team will look at its strength and conditioning programs to see if there are better ways to avoid injuries.The team currently has seven players on the disabled list.

"It would be easy to dismiss this as this is just how baseball goes," Alderson said. "But you do have to sort through the injuries and think about the kinds of things you're doing preventively to make sure they're minimized."

The GM also gave updates on several other injuries. He said an ultrasound on slugger Yoenis Cespedes "didn't reveal any significant damage" to his hamstring. The Mets put Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a left hamstring strain. Cespedes, who has six home runs and 10 RBIs this season, had returned to the lineup Wednesday after a nagging hamstring injury sidelined him for three games.

"There are a number of different things that might have contributed," Alderson said. "But we have to figure out something. He might just be susceptible to that kind of injury, and we have to be cognizant of that and make sure we do everything we can to minimize something he may be predisposed to anyway."

The general manager said infielder Wilmer Flores, sidelined with a knee infection, is getting ready for a rehab game in the next day or two and should be close to returning to the Mets.