Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
As Opening Day looms just under a month away, many members of the Los Angeles Dodgers are still working through adjustments, and that included Noah Syndergaard in his Spring Training debut on Tuesday afternoon.
Signed by Los Angeles in December to a one-year, $13 million contract, the 30-year-old could be considered the latest Dodgers’ pitching reclamation project, as Syndergaard remains in search of recapturing his form prior to Tommy John surgery.
Syndergaard completed two scoreless innings in a loss to the Cincinnati Reds, but despite previous reports that his fastball velocity had improved, the right-hander largely sat at 91-92 mph.
“I’m not too worried about it,” said Syndergaard. “I know it’s still in there. The four months you’re not throwing while you rehab, you kind of lose a little bit or forget how to throw. So just trying to re-learn how to throw hard again. It’s not the easiest thing to do.”
The 2016 All-Star believes the downtick in velocity could be solved by fixing his delivery than anything else.
“My biggest Achilles heel is delivery,” Syndergaard 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.”
Syndergaard is looking to earn his place at the backend of the Dodgers rotation after posting a 3.94 ERA in 134.2 innings pitched last season across 25 starts while striking out 95. His .263 batting average against last year was a career-worst mark for any season that saw him reach at least 130 innings of work on the mound.
Noah Syndergaard seeing progress
Although the days of 100-plus mph fastballs and full-season ERAs under 3.00 might be behind him, Syndergaard remains confident he can positively contribute to the club.
Syndergaard began working at Camelback Ranch promptly after signing with the Dodgers, and even with not being satisfied with results against the Reds, overall believes there has been progress.
“Yeah, most definitely – I think the eight weeks, two months that I was here before Spring Training started, we addressed a lot of the issues I was doing last year,” Syndergaard explained.
“I think I’m definitely in a way better position right now.”
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