Mets fans saw a trade happen this week that’d definitely make their heads spin if told about it five years ago. The Cleveland Guardians traded Amed Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard, a 2016 All-Star and former Mets ace, has fallen on hard times as he continues trying to regain his pre-Tommy John form. After splitting 2022 with the Angels and Phillies, he signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles this past winter.
He hasn’t pitched since June 7th, heading to the injured list after getting lit up by the Reds (which included Elly De La Cruz’s mammoth first career home run). Through 12 starts and 55.1 innings, Thor produced an unsightly 7.16 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, which led to -0.8 bWAR. He posted a 3.94 ERA in his first full season back in 2022, but he hasn’t been close to the pitcher he once was.
Heck, Noah Syndergaard even said at one point this year that he’d give up his hypothetical firstborn child to perform like he once did. Now that he’s getting a fresh start in Cleveland, what are the hurler’s thoughts on what’s happened thus far? Check out these comments from Cleveland.com:
For the last two years I’ve had a lot of cooks in the kitchen, a lot of people thinking they can come out and fix me. Some of them may have been right. Some of them were right, but the translation wasn’t getting to me.
I just think (I should) go out there and not really listen to what people think I should and should not be doing, but just do what feels good and natural to me. I feel some people are trying to get me to do certain things that aren’t characteristic to how I used to pitch.
I mean, this makes sense. Baseball is such a mental game. And when you’re struggling, so many people jump in with an opinion. It comes from a good place. But if you listen to enough opinions, you start to lose a little bit of who you are.
Syndergaard seems excited about a fresh start, and he might be in the right place to rebound. The Guardians have been a pitching factory in recent years. Manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis appear to have Thor’s best interests in mind for the start of their relationship. Here’s what Francona said:
Carl (Willis, pitching coach) and I visited with him for a long time today. He’s a guy with a really good pedigree, who has fallen on hard times this year.
We asked him, ‘What’s important to you?’ So often managers and pitching coaches start out and just talk. We wanted him to talk and he did a good job. Carl was like, ‘OK, we’ll simplify things. I’m not going to say anything to you right away. I’m going watch and I don’t want to jump in and make stuff up.
We’re wishing the best for Noah Syndergaard as he tries to rediscover himself. Baseball is hard enough when things are going well. It’s even harder when you’re constantly getting shelled every time you take the mound.