Thursday’s off day and inserting Gavin Stone for a start on Wednesday allowed the Dodgers the flexibility to reorder their rotation ahead of two pending weekend series against the division rival Padres.
Noah Syndergaard won’t start in the series this weekend in San Diego, which means his next start will come after at least a week of rest. Dave Roberts told reporters Wednesday at Dodger Stadium that Syndergaard will fine-tune some things in the interim.
“There’s some mechanical things that we just want to continue to work through. Giving him a couple days of bullpens in between the start will allow him a reset,” Roberts said, per SportsNet LA. “There’s certainly more in there, and Noah expects more from himself, too.”
“I expect him to go out there and enjoy the moment but expect good results because he deserves to be here.” Dave Roberts has nothing but good things to say about Gavin Stone ahead of his MLB debut. pic.twitter.com/g6j9Z2Rp8k— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 3, 2023
Syndergaard has a 6.32 ERA and 4.69 xERA through six starts this season, with 21 strikeouts and four walks in 31⅓ innings. Among 84 major league pitchers with enough innings to qualify, Syndergaard ranks 80th with a 15.2-percent strikeout rate. He struck out none and got only two swinging strikes last Sunday against St. Louis, but got the win allowing three runs in 5⅓ innings.
The Dodgers signed Syndergaard to a one-year, $13.5-million free agent contract in December. At the time, Syndergaard said, “I see no excuse as to why I can’t get back to 100 mph, and even farther than that.”
So far this season, Syndergaard is averaging 92.4 mph on his four-seam fastball and 91.9 mph on his two-seamer, down from 94.1 mph and 93.6 mph last year with the Angels and Phillies.
The Dodgers are also giving extra rest to Dustin May, who will pitch Saturday in San Diego, with seven days rest after throwing a career-high 104 pitches in five innings last Friday against St. Louis. Roberts said Monday the team will be mindful of May’s innings this year, in what will be his first full season after Tommy John surgery.
“We pushed him a lot at this point, but if we can at times give him an extra day or two, we feel it can only prove beneficial,” Roberts said.
Clayton Kershaw starts the series opener against the Padres on Friday night, on five days of rest. Julio Urías, who struck out 10 in seven innings on Tuesday in his best start of the season, will start Sunday night in San Diego on four days rest, in a game that will be televised by ESPN.