It’s very clear that Noah Syndergaard should not and very likely won’t start for the Dodgers again any time soon. And it sounds like the mechanism to remove the right-hander from the rotation might be the injured list.
Syndergaard allowed six runs in three innings on Wednesday to the Reds in Cincinnati, the latest bad start in a season full of them.
Manager Dave Roberts told reporters at Great American Ball Park after the game that Syndergaard is still dealing with the blister on his right index finger that’s been around for more than a month, and that he broke a fingernail during Wednesday’s start, per SportsNet LA.
Dave Roberts speaks on Noah Syndergaard’s recent play and what next steps could be. pic.twitter.com/twvVzHPjTd— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 8, 2023
“He’s going through it. He’s been going through it all year. It’s not from lack of effort, preparation, care, but it’s just not working,” Roberts said. I know that there’s things with that blister that he’s had to deal with that he certainly doesn’t want to make excuses for. I know there was a fingernail break tonight that he’s not going to make excuses for.”
Syndergaard on the season has a 7.16 ERA, third-worst in the majors among pitchers with at least 50 innings. His 5.54 FIP is seventh-worst, and his 15.4-percent strikeout rate is ninth-worst.
Opposing hitters have a .554 slugging percentage against Syndergaard, third-highest in baseball, and his 20 stolen bases allowed are seven more than against any other pitcher.
More Roberts, again from SportsNet LA:
“He understands it’s about performance. I think we’re going to sit down with him and try to figure out if this is something that — obviously I don’t think that we can kind of sustain this pace of performance. So I don’t know. It might be an opportunity to give him a chance to kind of get this finger thing taken care of, a reset, because it certainly, in my opinion, is impeding performance.
“But also, with that, there’s still execution, there’s still putting guys away and sequencing the right way all that stuff, certainly is a factor too.”
With Julio Urías set to return from his left hamstring strain on Sunday in Philadelphia, one starting pitcher will need to be removed from the rotation. It’s fairly clear that will be Syndergaard rather than Michael Grove, who is in line to start Friday against the Phillies.
The Dodgers don’t technically need to make a roster move until Sunday when Urías is activated from the injured list. But considering the bullpen threw six innings Wednesday and four on Tuesday, and could use all the help it can get right now, the prudent move would be to place Syndergaard on the injured list on Thursday and have an extra relief arm for three games.