Noah Syndergaard will start for the Dodgers on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, pitching on eight days rest after the right-hander was skipped over during the Padres series for what manager Dave Roberts termed a “reset” last week.
Syndergaard hasn’t been able to get his velocity back, which was a stated goal when he signed a one-year with the Dodgers in December. But so far this year, his average four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball velocities are both down. His strikeout rate is down to 15.2 percent, 101st among 108 MLB pitchers with at least 30 innings, compared to 26.4 percent in five years with the Mets before Tommy John surgery.
In addition to mechanical tweaks, Syndergaard told Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times he’s open to anything to try to improve, including hypnosis:
Ever since his Tommy John surgery, however, finding a new mental key, or developing another freeing trigger, hasn’t been simple.
“Even my long toss feels out of whack,” Syndergaard said. “Like I’m trying to relearn and unlearn something.”
Syndergaard has a 6.32 ERA that ranks 10th-worst among the 108 pitchers with at least 30 innings, and his 4.69 xERA ranks 66th.
He’ll be pitching Tuesday on eight days rest.
Mookie Betts has a new interview show and podcast called ‘On Base with Mookie Betts’ that will run live on Bleacher Report each week. First episode goes live at 9:30 a.m. PT Tuesday, featuring an interview with Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.
Caleb Ferguson is not with the Dodgers in Milwaukee, instead joining his wife for the pending birth of their first child, Dave Roberts said Monday, as shared by SportsNet LA. The Dodgers didn’t make a roster move Monday, but a pitcher addition feels likely on Tuesday. Justin Bruihl pitched two innings on Saturday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, if you’re keeping track at home.
An outside chance exists that Gavin Stone could be called up for another spot start, which would push the same three starting pitcher against the Padres for a second straight weekend. Though it’s worth noting that Roberts before Monday’s game specifically mentioned Clayton Kershaw is pitching Wednesday (with Austin Barnes catching and Will Smith at designated hitter), which would on four days rest.
Baseball America made its first in-season update to its top-100 prospect list. With Miguel Vargas and James Outman graduating to the majors, the other for Dodgers on the preseason list — Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Michael Busch, Gavin Stone — saw small bumps, mostly due to major league promotions of others. But the biggest jump was by Dalton Rushing, who was outside the top-100 before the season but is now the No. 79 prospect in MLB. Rushing, the Dodgers’ top draft pick last year out of Louisville, is hitting .268/.450/.500 with four home runs and a 174 wRC+ for High-A Great Lakes.
Speaking of Mookie Betts, there’s a bobblehead giveaway at Dodger Stadium next Monday.