NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins' eyes lit up when he saw a familiar face shuffling through the back of the Citi Field media room hours before New York's series finale against the Dodgers on Sunday.
"Doc!" Collins bellowed toward legendary Mets right-hander Dwight Gooden. "You got an inning in ya tonight?"
The assembled media chuckled. Collins might not be able to turn to Gooden any time soon, but he might have a spare arm in the bullpen in the near future: right-hander Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard was ejected in the third inning of Saturday's game after buzzing a 99-mph fastball behind Chase Utley, who has drawn the ire of Mets fans still upset by the second baseman's late slide in the 2015 National League Division Series that broke former Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada's leg.
The ejection forced Collins to empty the bullpen in a 9-1 loss. Syndergaard tossed just 34 pitches and faced nine batters.
"We're talking about possibly using him Tuesday, if we need any [innings] out of the bullpen," Collins said. "Because he's still going to make his start on Friday."
Collins said he hasn't heard anything regarding a suspension for his big righty. Syndergaard, for what it's worth, tweeted he was "available from pen," on Sunday afternoon.
I'm fresh. Can be available from pen. Just saying. #LGM
His only previous relief appearance came against the Dodgers, throwing a hitless seventh inning in Game 5 of last year's NLDS.
On Saturday, Mets fans showered Syndergaard with cheers as he walked off the mound and into the dugout. It might not be too long before they see the big Texan with the flowing blond hair jogging in from the bullpen, priming to uncork 100-plus-mph fastballs past frustrated hitters.
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.