Noah Syndergaard is coming into his first season with the Dodgers and he is focused on returning to the form that made him one of the more dominating pitchers in baseball in the mid-2010s. Part of the LA’s plan includes, among other things, his ability to hold runners.
Over Syndergaard’s career, opposing would-be base-stealers have been successful 169 out of 190 times. This equates to an 89% success rate, which is much higher than the league average which is at 73%.
Manager Dave Roberts spoke to the media at Camelback Ranch and revealed that the team has been monitoring this issue with Syndergaard:
“We’re watching it. With Noah, right now he’s really trying to focus on some things mechanically that he wants to kind of get that foundation. But, the fact is he’s got to continue to get better at holding runners. How do we do that? There’s varying times, there’s increasing delivery times to the plate because at some point giving up 90 feet isn’t going to be helpful for a guy that can put the ball on the ground and potentially get a double play. I know Noah is mindful of that and we’re going to continue to work together to get better.”
Some rules the MLB is implementing this year are going to increase the running game, so it is in Syndergaard’s best interest to be even more mindful this season. Two of the rule changes relate to larger bases and limited pickoff attempts, so the pitcher will certainly have to lock in to cut down on opposing runners’ success rate.
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