Dodgers Spring Training: Noah Syndergaard Focused On Getting ‘1 Percent Better’ Each Start

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After losing several key contributors in free agency, the Los Angeles Dodgers addressed their starting rotation with the signing of Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million contract.

The right-hander has battled inconsistency since a breakout campaign in 2016, which can largely be attributed to injuries. Syndergaard is entering his second full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2020, and so far this spring, has looked impressive.

Syndergaard has posted a minuscule 1.23 ERA and 0.41 WHIP over 7.1 innings across three appearances (two starts) in Cactus League play. One of his main focuses is increasing his fastball velocity, which has steadily trended upward with each outing.

Aside from that, Syndergaard explained he is trying to incrementally improve every time he takes the mound, per Matthew Ritchie of

“I think it’s starting to get 1 percent better, just continue that trend,” he said. “Going out there and competing, my stuff is playing well right now. I just want to focus on getting 1 percent better every time I touch a baseball, and every time I get on the field to compete, then I think we’re going to be in a really good situation for the beginning of the season.”

Syndergaard threw two scoreless innings in his first Cactus League appearance against the Cincinnati Reds, but was disappointed his fastball topped out at only 93 mph.

The 30-year-old followed up that performance by tossing three perfect innings against the San Diego Padres, and saw his fastball velocity increase to 94 mph.

In his most recent start against the Chicago Cubs, Syndergaard allowed just one run on three hits and collected four strikeouts over 4.1 innings pitched.

Noah Syndergaard hoping to gain velocity with changes to delivery

Syndergaard said earlier this spring that he could potentially add velocity to his fastball by tweaking his delivery. “My biggest Achilles heel is delivery,” he explained.

“If I can get my delivery down to utilize my strength and power, and use it in an efficient manner, I think I’ll be alright. But 92-93 (mph) is not it.”

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