Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Noah Syndergaard Not Worried About Down Velocity in First Start of the Spring

Dodgers pitcher Noah Syndergaard made his first appearance of the spring on Tuesday, throwing two shutout innings against the Reds with two strikeouts and one hit allowed. The thing everyone was most interested in, though, was his fastball velocity, which mostly sat at 91-92 MPH and topped out at 93.

Syndergaard has said his goal is to get back to throwing 100 MPH like he did before Tommy John surgery shut him down in 2020. Last year, he was mostly in the mid-90s with the Angels and Phillies in his first full season back from surgery.

After Thor’s outing, he talked with the media in the Camelback Ranch clubhouse, and while he wasn’t distraught over his velocity, it was apparent he wasn’t where he wanted to be. He was asked if 92-93 was where he expected to be at this stage in the spring, and his answer was telling.

“No, not really, but it’s just motivation to keep on working. I’m not too worried about it, I know it’s still in there. Just the four months that you’re not throwing during your rehab, you kinda lose a little bit or kinda forget how to throw hard. To relearn how to throw hard again, it’s not the easiest thing to do.”

Velocity isn’t the only thing Syndergaard is working on this spring. He says the results of everything will flow from getting his delivery mechanics consistent.

“To me, my biggest Achilles heel is delivery. If I can get my delivery down, I’ll be able to utilize my strength and power and use it in an efficient manner. I think I’ll be alright, but 92-93 is not it.”

Syndergaard has been working closely with Los Angeles pitching coach Mark Prior and the rest of the coaching staff, and he’s confident in the process they’ve worked out for him.

“I think we have the right formula down, just you know, being consistent with it and trusting the routine, trusting the process. I’m surrounded by the best coaches in the world, so I’m confident that they’ll get me back to where I need to be.”

Syndergaard doesn’t necessarily have to throw 100 to be effective. Last year, throwing in the mid-90s, he posted a reasonable 3.94 ERA, good for a slightly above-average 103 ERA+ and perfectly fine for a fifth starter. But the Dodgers signed him with the expectation that they could get some of that velocity back, so hopefully as he continues to “trust the process” those velo numbers will start ticking back up.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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