Noah Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers, and it’s no secret that he could have asked for more time and money from other teams. But there’s something about the magic that the Dodgers’ pitching staff seems to work year after year on struggling pitchers that appealed to the mighty Thor. So, what might Mark Prior and his trusty team have in store for Syndergaard? Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated offers some thoughts.
First thing’s first: Syndergaard’s changeup could use some help. It’s his most-used pitch but a below-average one, and it could get a little lower for maximum impact. While velocity isn’t necessarily Syndergaard’s strong suit, especially after his Tommy John surgery, gaining another mile or two per hour could impact the effectiveness of both his changeup and sinker.
There’s also the matter of his four-seamer. It can be a great pitch if he gets the spin up, Verducci writes, similar to Tyler Anderson’s elevated four-seam fastball.
Finally, let’s see what can be done about Syndergaard’s habit of letting runners steal bases. They have an 89% success rate against him, and with bigger bases and limits on pickoffs on the way, this is one issue that could certainly use some attention.
Shortstops are suddenly in short supply, and the Dodgers are in danger of missing out, writes Juan Toribio at MLB.com.
Carlos Correa traded one Dodgers rival for another when he signed with the San Francisco Giants. Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times takes a look at Dodgers’ rivalries past and present to see what Correa is in for next season.
Baseballs used in major league games remain inconsistent, according to a study by astrophysicist Dr. Meredith Wills. J.P. Hoornstra at the OC Register asks: Where’s the transparency from the league?