Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Noah Syndergaard has been out of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation and on the 15-day injured list for the past month, and on Friday pitched in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium for the second time during that span.
Having Syndergaard face batters was originally scheduled to take place Thursday, but the Dodgers delayed it due to some uncertainty with their bullpen. Although not a likely scenario, the right-hander was viewed as a potential long relief option heading into the All-Star break if Julio Urías had another short outing.
He wound up turning in six strong innings, which set up Syndergaard to face Miguel Vargas, Jonny DeLuca and Yonny Hernández. He pitched three innings, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Syndergaard’s fastball velocity got up to 94 mph in what was a productive exercise.
“We’ve got to talk more as far as what the plan is and what’s next,” Roberts added. “I think certainly he’ll go out on a rehab assignment, and how long that lasts is contingent on health and performance.”
Syndergaard’s rehab assignment is expected to come with Triple-A Oklahoma City and not start until after the All-Star break.
Whenever that process begins, the Dodgers will closely monitor Syndergaard’s health and characteristics of his pitches. Syndergaard is 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA and 1.45 WHIP through 12 starts this season.
Only Kyle Muller (7.79) and Adam Wainwright (7.66) have higher ERAs than Syndergaard among pitchers with at least 50 innings this season.
“The ball is in his court, to be quite honest, to go out there and perform,” Roberts said earlier this week. “The sample that we’ve seen up to this point, whether it be related to solely performance, combo of injury with finger and blister layered onto performance, he hasn’t been where we need it to be.
“Noah understands that. So I think for us, it’s the challenge to go out there and be the pitcher he can be, and then the conversation should be revisited.”
What role will Noah Syndergaard have?
While the Dodgers were prepared to activate Syndergaard in an emergency relief role, they still view the veteran as a starter.
“That conversation [Thursday] was sort of just reacting on the fly with where the ‘pen was at,” Roberts explained. “But because of Julio’s outing, it got us in a better state.
“As far as that question (about role when returning), I think we’ve just got to wait and see. We see him as a starter. I don’t want Noah’s head to go to a different place until that conversation when, and if, it needs to happen.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!