Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Weeks after losing Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney in free agency, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly rounded out their starting rotation by signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million contract.
His addition, coupled with Clayton Kershaw re-signing, gave the Dodgers five viable starters for the 2023 season. Syndergaard signed with the Dodgers in large part due to a belief their pitching coaches would him return to form as he was coming off an inconsistent year.
Part of that is going to entail the hard-throwing righty getting back to throwing with more velocity after it was down in 2022.
According to Rowan Kavner of Fox Sports, manager Dave Roberts said the Dodgers have seen Syndergaard’s velocity improve early into Spring Training:
Roberts said the Dodgers have already noticed an uptick in velocity with Syndergaard based on where he was at in early bullpens last year. He did not specify how much, but he expects to see an increase there.
— Rowan Kavner (@RowanKavner) February 17, 2023
Syndergaard went a combined 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies last season. He was moved into the Phillies bullpen for two of four appearances during their postseason run.
The former New York Mets All-Star has battled injuries and struggled to pitch well since a breakout campaign in 2016. Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and now looks to further distance himself in a second full season since the operation.
Syndergaard’s contract with the Dodgers includes $500,000 bonuses for reaching 130, 150 and 170 innings pitched.
Noah Syndergaard had plan to increase velocity
During his first time speaking with media after signing with the Dodgers, the 30-year-old expressed confidence he could get back to throwing a fastball that reached a minimum of 100 mph.
“With the rehab, over the last three years, I might’ve only had three or four total months off, so that might have been a factor into the velocity dip,” Syndergaard said.
“I started going down a movement and pitching mechanics rabbit hole, and was getting away from what made me great. When I had surgery, everyone was always telling me that I was too big, too bulky, too strong.
“So instead of continuing to do what made me really good and just chalking it up to Tommy John surgery that a lot of pitchers and baseball players go through, I completely did an overhaul of my training program. My emphasis in the weight room was a lot of mobility, athleticism, and kind of shifted away from the strength and explosiveness.
“Whatever I was doing last year was not the best version of me,” Syndergaard said. “I see no excuse as to why I can’t get back to 100 miles an hour, and even farther than that. It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think there’s a baseball player in MLB that does what I do when it comes to the recovery and training and attention to detail.”
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