this dodgers It is the baseball version of Wash and Brush Up Co. from the land of Oz. While leading the National League for six consecutive years in the ERA, they not only hit All-Star top fives like Clayton Kershaw, Walter Buehler and Julio Urías, but also excelled in makeover projects with former players like Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Rich Hill . Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson. Next appointment: Noah Sendergaard.
Syndergaard signs a second consecutive year deal after Tommy John’s surgery. He signed a contract with before last season. angels 21 million dollars. He was traded just before the deadline and finished the year with the Phillies. His speed and splurges still haven’t come back, so he’s back on another proving deal, this time with a $13 million cut (with $1.5 million in incentives). Syndergaard turned down more money for the same reason Anderson did last year: to capitalize on the Dodgers’ shooting wisdom and for a postseason shot.
Returning to an old concept, Anderson reduced his change even more and began to sink more on it. He also threw gunboats into the left foot, holding it at .626 OPS, the lowest since his rookie season in 2016. Made real changes. Combined with the way Los Angeles played defense—he had a career-low .247 BABIP—Anderson compiled an interim season that he turned into a three-year, $39 million deal with the Angels.
Can Syndergaard get the Wash and Brush Up treatment? It’s a low-risk, high-payoff buy for Dodgers. Syndergaard isn’t going back to monster mode in 2015 and 16, when his most used pitch was the four-stitch fastball at 97-98 miles per hour. He turned into a ground ball thrower with an average speed (93-94 mph). However, here are the areas the Dodgers need to work on improving to turn Syndergaard into a reliable starting player like Anderson:
1. Fix your change.
Last season, Syndergaard scored more than ever (20%) and was worse than ever (.316 BA, .456 SLG). It was rated as a step below average for the first time in his career. Like most changes that have taken a hit, Syndergaard, on average, hasn’t pulled its change down as much as it has in past years.
2. Improve the four-stitch tightening efficiency.
Syndergaard’s favorite part of pitching is launching two sailors. He likes to see the ball run fast on his arm side, partly because he naturally pronates around the ball to achieve such a run. Throwing a real four-stitch speedball isn’t as natural as the way his hand and wrist works, but it’s something he can improve on.
The Syndergaard doesn’t have outstanding spin at four watercraft (2,136 rpm). Last season he walked away from the field more than ever (just 15%), probably because of the mess (.605 slow). But when he raises the pitch properly, the quadship is a good fit for him, even with his low turn rate and average ride. The batter hit .158 against four of his career rising sailors. Granted, he scored much harder early in his career. But that average was 0.207 even last season—at 94.1 mph.
Dodgers know the upgraded quad sailors and true spin as well as anyone. With 91 miles per hour last year, Anderson threw four-stitch fastballs (14%-6%) more than twice as high as Sundergaard.
3. Find more speed.
That’s difficult. Sendergaard is 30 years old and it’s been three years since Tommy John’s surgery. Probably the top speed it can get back at this point is 1-2 mph. But even a small increase will help. And it should improve its change. Since 2019, the difference between platinum and its exchange has dropped from 6.4 mph to 5.1 mph. It doesn’t sound like a click more, but the hitters hit .403 against 93-94 sinkers and .380 against 94-95 sinkers.
4. Improve his defense in the running game.
Slow on the plate, the Syndergaard is one of the worst shooters at keeping runners up. It provided 169 stolen bases at 144 starts with an 89% success rate for runners. Imagine the upcoming season with bigger bases and selection limitations making stealing bases easier and more frequent.
The Dodgers should address this issue in spring practice, especially since Syndergaard is a man who gets in touch from the field. A walk becomes a couple. Balls in game score runners. Last season, he had the eighth-worst hit rate of any shooter with 130 hits.
Lack of shifts next season could hurt contact shooters like Syndergaard, who have a higher-than-average (.297) career BABIP (.313).
The good news is that Syndergaard stayed healthy with 143 hits last season, including postseason. Dodgers has a healthy 30-year-old arm with a history of success. This is exactly the kind of thing smart, low-cost purchasing teams should do. Anderson, Heaney, Carlos Rodón, Alex Cobb, Michael Wacha and Martín Pérez were among last year’s success stories. Dodgers and Syndergaard are a perfect match.