Syndergaard's scratch spurs Twitter exchange

Mets prospect responds to fans about missing Triple-A Las Vegas start

Syndergaard's scratch spurs Twitter exchange

NEW YORK -- Mets top prospect Noah Syndergaard was scratched from Friday's start for Triple-A Las Vegas due to illness, prompting a give-and-take exchange with fans on Twitter that turned personal.

Syndergaard replied to several tweets criticizing him for missing the start, which he should make up this weekend against Albuquerque. When he received a second wave of criticism for responding, Syndergaard wrote: "I'm allowed to stick up for myself aren't I?"

The Mets do not necessarily believe so, dispatching a member of the organization to speak with Syndergaard about his comportment.

Syndergaard, Wright tough love

"Generally speaking, Twitter is more of a trap than a means of positive communication for athletes and executives," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "So I caution him against it. That's something the organization addresses immediately."

In his second year at Las Vegas, Syndergaard has allowed four earned runs over his first two starts, spanning 7 2/3 innings. His growth process has been painful at times both on and off the field; this spring, Mets teammates David Wright and Bobby Parnell scolded Syndergaard for eating lunch in the clubhouse during a Grapefruit League game, throwing it in the trash and instructing him to return to the bench.

At 22 years old, Syndergaard boasts as high a ceiling as any pitcher in the organization. MLB.com ranked him the preseason No. 11 prospect in baseball, topping the Mets' list for a second straight year. Last summer, Syndergaard finished 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA at Las Vegas, missing time to a pair of minor injuries. One of them, a bout of forearm tightness, returned this spring, prompting the Mets to push back his first start of the season. Syndergaard has since returned to the mound, with hopes of making his Mets debut later this summer.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.