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Dodgers News: Noah Syndergaard Looks Good in First Unofficial Outing, Feels ‘Strong and Powerful’

PHOENIX — Noah Syndergaard was one of the biggest additions the Los Angeles Dodgers made this offseason. The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher was added after a decent year between the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies, but came to LA to get back to being an All-Star-caliber pitcher.

Syndergaard was an All-Star in 2016 with the New York Mets, and had a fastball that consistently hit triple digits. HIs 4-seam fastball in 2016 averaged 98.7 mph. Last year, however, his 4-seam fastball averaged 94.1 mph — a greater than four mph decrease.



Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery in 2020, which definitely contributed to his decrease in velocity. However, in his first week of camp with the Dodgers, the team already saw an uptick.

On Thursday, Syndergaard threw two innings as the starter in the Dodgers’ camp game. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters, including Freddie Freeman on three pitches.

Syndergaard spoke to the media on Thursday about how he feels, and what he’s been working on this spring.

“I just feel, like, more explosive,” Syndergaard said, “connected to the mound. I feel like I’m very strong and powerful, but just directing that strength and power in the right way.”

As for what he’s working on:

“Just getting my delivery right. I feel like if my delivery is where it should be, then everything else will take care of itself.”

Austin Barnes was the starting catcher on Syndergaard’s team today, and caught both of his innings. He had some high praise for the former All-Star in his unofficial Dodgers debut.

“I thought he looked really good,” Barnes said. “I’m not sure how hard he was throwing or anything, but the way he was just pitching and mixing his locations and throwing those pitches for strikes…it’s always encouraging, especially their first, facing some hitters for the first time.”

Before the game, manager Dave Roberts spoke to the media about Syndergaard’s increasing velocity, and what he’s noticed about him this spring.

“I think that’ll naturally happen,” Roberts said about an uptick in velocity, “which we’ve already seen. Just velocity, obviously it just continues to add margin for error. The command that Noah has is — I didn’t appreciate the command that he has and how good the changeup is and his ability to spin the baseball, but, yeah, velocity is something that’s just gonna come.”

If Syndergaard is able to get that velocity back up to where it was in 2016 — or at least close to it — there’s no reason he won’t be able to have a dominate year in the back of the Dodgers’ rotation. And if he does, it’ll be yet another example of a pitcher entering the Mark Prior pitching lab, and coming out a much, much better overall player.

Like Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, Syndergaard will be hoping to set himself up for a nice payday when he’s a free agent this offseason. But for now, he’s just focused on dominating and winning games with the Dodgers.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Associate Staff Writer for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan since he was a kid, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin — but Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are very quickly making a case to be on that list.

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