The Dodgers have championship aspirations heading into 2023, and as currently constructed, their pitching is in a good spot, thanks to Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw. However, outside of those two, many questions arise, especially around Dodgers free agent signee Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the Boys in Blue and hopes for a bounce back in his career after suffering some injuries.
Spring Training is a time when players are trying new things and getting the rust off to prepare for when the games count. That applies to all players and especially pitchers. Now, we must take everything we see in spring training with a grain of salt even when applying it to Noah’s velocity concerns.
It has been a topic of discussion this spring training; however, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts isn’t worried about Syndergaard and his velo.
Doc is doing what he can to protect his pitcher, but the concerns are legit. When the 30-year-old entered the league, his average velocity was at a whopping 98 MPH. Last season, Noah topped off at 94.1 MPH, and this spring training, he’s topped at 93 and 94 MPH in his first two starts.
Nonetheless, the one-time All-Star has been quite solid for the Boys in Blue. He has a 1-1 record in three games with a 0.96 ERA, 8 strikeouts, and a 0.43 WHIP in 9.1 innings.
Last week, Thor iterated that even though he’s not happy where his velo stands, it doesn’t discourage him, and he says he will continue to work at it. Injuries affect people in many different ways, and even though I don’t want to make an excuse for Noah, it’s true. For what it’s worth, the veteran right-hander came away from Saturday’s outing with a positive feeling.
“Towards the end, I was kind of able to go on autopilot. Being internal on the mound [and thinking too much about mechanics] has been my Achilles heel my whole career, so it’s encouraging that everything’s going in that direction, just focusing on external results.”Via Jack Harris, LA Times.
This could be a thing of the past once we get the regular season underway, or this could be a common occurrence that the media constantly discuss. For Dodgers nation’s sake and Noah’s sake, we’re hoping it’s the former.
I certainly wouldn’t be too worried about it now; just don’t let it linger into the regular season and beyond.