New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson
May 12, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) Noah Syndergaard's recent visit to a doctor to have his right elbow examined revealed nothing, much to the New York Mets' relief.

The right-hander had complained of elbow stiffness after his May 1 start at San Francisco, a potentially worrisome situation to a team with one of baseball's best rotations. Turns out, Syndergaard got a clean bill of health.

Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Thursday that Syndergaard has felt fine since and the team was only being cautious. He made his next two starts, including Wednesday night, when he homered twice in the Mets' 4-3 victory.

''Noah's one of these guys that he's really in tune with how he feels from start to start,'' Ricco said. ''Coming out of the start against the Giants, he said something just didn't feel right and wanted to have it checked out. It just felt different on a couple of pitches.''

Syndergaard had a MRI. Ricco said the pitcher nicknamed ''Thor'' has felt nothing similar since.

''We're pretty conservative when it comes to these guys,'' he said.

Manager Terry Collins wasn't initially aware that Syndergaard had seen a doctor. He protested to Collins when he got pulled after eight innings Wednesday and closer Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth.

''He said, `Let me finish,''' Collins said. ''I said, `Two weeks ago your elbow is bothering you. No, you're done.' We got one of the best closers in baseball. Why wouldn't we put him in the game? That's his job.''

The team placed infielder Wilmer Flores on the 15-day DL retroactive to Wednesday with a strained left hamstring and recalled left-hander Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas. Flores was sent back to New York and went to Florida on Thursday.

Ricco says Flores' strain is ''very mild'', but it bothered him enough to necessitate the move. The GM said Flores was reaching for a ball during batting practice and tweaked something, then did it again.

''Once he felt it a second time it went from him thinking it might just be tightness to something he was a little more worried about,'' Ricco said.

Left-hander Steven Matz will miss his scheduled start Saturday at Colorado after experiencing discomfort in his elbow after he pitched Monday. Right-hander Logan Verrett will take his place.

Collins was adamant that caution is the most prudent approach with a young staff.

''We made a commitment that we're going to watch out for these young pitchers early in the year, and we're going to. The same with the players,'' he said. ''I would rather lose someone for a day or two than two weeks or four weeks. I asked these guys from the first day of spring training, don't be a hero. Heroes die fast in this game.''

Third baseman David Wright had a bothersome shoulder.

''Coming into the season we knew he was going to have physical limitations with the back,'' Ricco said. ''There's nothing specific to my knowledge with the shoulder.''

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