Over in Los Angeles, California, Heaven, Disney Land, or wherever the Angels are representing right now, former New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard seems to have stumbled on a different approach to the game. Known for throwing hard during his time with the Mets, Syndergaard has been a far different hurler in the early part of 2022.
Through four starts, Syndergaard has averaged 94.4mph on his 4-seamer and sinker. They are his two hardest thrown pitches.
For some context, this ranks in the 50s among all MLB starting pitchers with the innings to qualify. Back in 2019 when he pitched his last full year in the major leagues, Syndergaard was averaging 97.8mph on his four-seamer and 97.5 on his sinker. The four-seamer speed was tied for the fasted and the sinker was the highest average of any pitcher with the innings to qualify.
Former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard is finding success with a different approach to pitching
A dominant strikeout pitcher during his Mets days, he averaged 9.7 K/9 innings during his 718 innings with the ball club. Through his first 24 starts with the Angels, he has only 14 strikeouts for an average of 5.3 K/9.
The change is quite drastic. The results, though, have been pretty good.
Syndergaard is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA for an Angels club that looks like it could indeed capture the American League West. They took a couple of chances this offseason. Syndergaard, having tossed only two innings post-2019, was one of them.
We’ll have to see if Syndergaard can continue to throw a little softer and still maintain this level of success. With his health in question and another free agent winter for him coming up, there is a commonality with him and a pitcher still with the Mets.
Jacob deGrom somehow began to throw harder than ever in recent seasons. It may have been one of the factors which knocked him out of the 2021 season midway through. Could he actually benefit from making the same switch Syndergaard has? It’s hard to argue with the results deGrom was able to have while throwing harder. However, it’s kind of useless when you’re hurt.
Pitchers often reinvent themselves at different stages of their career. Whether it’s coming off an injury or bad year, they regularly work at finding a new way to compete. We already know deGrom is as competitive as it gets. A lesson from an old friend, the man known as Thor, might be something to consider.