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The Noah Syndergaard “Thor” Era Begins

I have to admit that I was taken aback by the Noah Syndergaard signing.  I am not disappointed, just a little surprised.  I was expecting the Dodgers to sign one of the pitchers that Dustin Nosler had outlined.

Syndergaard could be the best #5 rotation pitcher in MLB.  That just pushed the depth down a peg and made it deeper.

  • Julio Urías
  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Tony Gonsolin
  • Dustin May
  • Noah Syndergaard

Rotation Depth:

  • Ryan Pepiot
  • Michael Grove
  • Andre Jackson
  • Bobby Miller
  • Gavin Stone

 

Pepiot could and maybe should move to the bullpen.  His fastball and change could be a devastating combo in relief situations.  Michael Grove and Andre Jackson are a repeat of Ross Stripling and Mitch White, and will probably start at OKC.  If Pepiot also moves back to OKC, the OKC rotation could be the depth identified above.  That excludes Landon Knack who also deserves to be in the AAA rotation.  That does not count the AAAA pitchers the Dodgers will obviously tap, as they do every year.

We all know that Syndergaard is not the same intimidating pitcher he was early in his career, specifically 2016.    Noah earned his first and only All Star selection in 2016.  He was #8 in CY voting, and received MVP votes.

He was oft injured in 2017 and  completed just 30 innings.

In 2018, he got some of that 2016 mojo back. Between a strained ligament in his index finger, and a disease he caught from children he was with during the 2018 AS break, he was a very productive and effective pitcher.  He completed 154.1 IP with a very respectable 3.03 ERA.  He had 155 Ks and 39 BBs.

In 2019, Thor completed a full season with 32 starts and 197.2 IP.  His ERA was not very good, but he had 202 Ks and only 50 BBs.  His 2019 FIP indicated that he did pitch with some bad luck, but still not dominating pitching like he had in 2016.  His ERA + indicated just a bit south of an average starting pitcher.

Overall, from 2015 to 2019, he tossed 716 innings with a 3.31 ERA, 26.4% strikeout rate, 5.6% walk rate and 49.1% ground ball rate.  But then disaster struck.

On March 26, 2020, Noah had TJ surgery and missed all of 2020 and most of 2021.  He did get 2.0 innings at the end of the season.  2021 was his FA year, and NYM thought enough of Syndergaard to give him a QO, which he declined.  LAA signed Thor to a 1 year, $21MM contract before the lockout.

LAA traded Syndergaard at the deadline to Philadelphia for catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe; #64 in MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects, and Syndergaard was back in the playoffs, and pitched in his 2nd WS.  He was on the losing end both years (2015 and 2022), and now hopes to help LAD win the 2023 WS.

 

In 2022, Noah had 24 starts and 1 relief appearance for a total 134.2 IP: 3.94 ERA.  Seemingly a nice production after 2 years of no pitching.  Syndergaard was acquired to somehow replace Tyler Anderson’s 178 IP.  After last season, and with pitching Yoda Mark Prior, coupled with Noah’s competitive nature, I think there is a good chance Syndergaard can achieve TA’s IP.

What the Dodgers hope with any adjustment is an increase in Thor’s velo. His velo for his fastball and slider are 4-5 MPH slower than at his peak. If he can increase that velo, he should be able to improve on his 2022 metrics.  The Dodgers have had good success with increasing velo with other reclamation projects.  Will Noah Syndergaard be the next?

Thor certainly has a history of injury, like Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Clayton Kershaw.  So while there is reason for positive expectations with a top rotation, there is also reason for trepidation.  The Dodgers will have the depth to manage injuries.  In addition, we still have no idea if the Dodgers are done with pitching additions.

One other facet about the Syndergaard signing is that Thor has an edgy side about him.  He is not the laid back stoic personality much like most of the current LAD roster.  His take on Carlos Correa’s comments about Derek Jeter not deserving any of his GG will lead to some interesting confrontations when LAD meets up with SFG.  Noah is another social media favorite and a character.  But he is nothing like Trevor Bauer.

I do not for a minute believe this is the last player personnel transaction we see from AF/BG.  Will there be more FA signings?  Or will there be trades? Or will it be both?  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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Badger

Help:

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/noah-syndergaard-592789?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

I think I know what I’m looking at here, a lot of information to digest but there’s also projections that could improve with Dodger coaching. Fangraphs says he could throw 150 innings of 4.0, which could be acceptable for a #5, but improvement in spin rotation, and work on heat map locations, heat up, breaking balls down, things Prior is an expert at improving, could drop that ERA into the mid 3’s. 150 innings of Thor? Yoiks.

This is an exciting pick-up.

Oldbear48

Welcome to LA Thor! I think this is a great signing by the Dodgers and it did not break the bank. I also believe that somewhere along the line, the Giants are going to regret giving Correa that long of a deal. He will help their offense for sure. Dodger rotation goes from being lefty heavy, to three righthanders in the rotation.

Bumsrap

I will be 88 when that contract expires. I already could care less about how good of a player Correa is by then. Bear, you’ll be near 100  😊 

Oldbear48

Relax Jefe, no one gets out alive.

Oldbear48

No Bum, I will be 87 in 13 years. Actually, I will be extremely lucky if I am still around at all. I care less about anyone who wears the orange and black. Also feel the same way about the orange and blue of the Asterholes.

Badger

I’ll be 84 when Mookie’s contract expires. Just another reason why I’m looking more closely at this year. One year at a time.

Bumsrap

The Giants need a few players to step up. Crawford might but they still have 4 players in their lineup that are less likely to step up. Their 3, 4, and 5 hitters are decent with Carlos, Joc, and Mitch assuming Mitch is healthy.

2B Thairo Estrada .260/.322/.722
3B Brandon Crawford .231/.308/.344/.652 —
SS Carlos Correa .291/.366/.834
LF Joc Pederson .274/.353/.874
RF Mitch Haniger .246/.308/.736
1B J.D. Davis .248/.340/.758
CF Mike Yastrzemski .214/.305/.697
DH Tommy La Stella .239/.282/.632
C Joey Bart .215/.296/.660

Bench–3B Wilmer Flores .229/.316/.710

Oldbear48

Dodgers supposedly have an interest in Evan Longoria. Why, other than his relationship with AF< I have no idea.

Badger

Me either. Justin Turner projects higher. Is Longoria that much cheaper?

Bumsrap

The Dodgers probably have a Facilities Manager that oversees a lot of staff and maintenance projects that makes maybe $150,000 that will be thinking about a $2,000,000 player mostly sitting on the bench.

Bumsrap

Padres
SS Xander Bogaerts .307/.377/.833
RF Juan Soto .236/.388/.778
3B Manny Machado .298/.366/.898
LF Fernando Tatis Jr. (Did not play)
2B Ha-Seong Kim .251/.325/.708
C Austin Nola .251/.321/.649
1B Jake Cronenworth .239/.332/.722
CF Trent Grisham .184/.284/.626
DH TBD

Dodgers
RF Mookie Betts
1B Freddie Freeman
C Will Smith
DH Max Muncy
2B Chris Taylor
SS Gavin Lux
LF Trayce Thompson
3B Miguel Vargas
CF James Outman

Giants
2B Thairo Estrada .260/.322/.722
3B Brandon Crawford .231/.308/.344/.652 —
SS Carlos Correa .291/.366/.834
LF Joc Pederson .274/.353/.874
RF Mitch Haniger .246/.308/.736
1B J.D. Davis .248/.340/.758
CF Mike Yastrzemski .214/.305/.697
DH Tommy La Stella .239/.282/.632
C Joey Bart .215/.296/.660
Bench–3B Wilmer Flores .229/.316/.710

Last edited 1 month ago by Bumsrap
Badger

I’ll need you to go back through that list and give me individual WAR predictions and totals for all those players.

I’ll wait here.

Bumsrap

Based on last year of for the last three?

Badger

Both?

Sam Oyed

Red Sox designate Jeter Downs. Guess we won the Betts trade.

Bumsrap

Another shortstop is available. Let the bidding begin.

Badger

We’ve missed Cody for a few years now.

Sam Oyed

👍

Singing the Blue

I agree with those who feel that AF and JT are just waiting for the Bauer decision in order to figure out how to structure JT’s contract. I’ve got to believe they’ve reached a verbal agreement that he’s coming back or he probably would have signed elsewhere by now. If he waits too long, those other opportunities will be off the board.

Some interesting math involved in the Bauer situation. If he isn’t allowed to play this year, the Dodgers save somwhere between 30-35 million (not sure exactly how that’s figured). If he’s allowed to play and opts out, they save between 15-20 million. That might mean that they would be willing to pay half his salary in a trade scenario if they really don’t want him on the team. Still far better than eating the entire 30-35 million and also losing a pitcher from the rotation.

I happen to feel we’d be better off keeping him, but how about some trade ideas with the thought that we’d pay half of his salary. Who would take him and what would they be willing to give back?

Bumsrap

Texas, Mets, Oakland

Singing the Blue

Probably going to try to sneak him through waivers so they can use him as an infielder at OKC. He plays all over the infield so this might not mean anything about Amaya.

I really hope that they have Amaya with the big club all spring and give him a chance to force his way on to the roster.

Singing the Blue

I would hope they would need that 40th spot for someone more able to contribute than Mr. Hernandez.

Singing the Blue

Josh Thomas at Dodgers Digest had a write up today on catcher Yeiner Fernandez (whom I’ve heard of and really like) and Luis Valdez, a young pitcher I had never heard of. They are part of a series on what he calls helium prospects, guys he’s tried to identify before they become mainstream top 30 Dodger prospects.

There were a total of 6 players including the two mentioned above and Doncon, Alex Freeland, Heubeck and River Ryan. He includes videos and stats and I must say that every one of those 6 players seems very promising, at least at this stage of their career.

Singing the Blue

Mr. Rodon is a Yankee.
6 years/162 million

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