A nightmare first year with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Noah Syndergaard has gotten even worse (or better, depending on which Dodgers fan you ask), as the struggling righty has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a blister issue.
Dodgers put Noah Syndergaard on IL (blister).— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 8, 2023
Syndergaard has been dealing with the blister since last month, when he was forced to leave his start against the Milwaukee Brewers due to bleeding on his pitching hand.
"It doesn't really bother me but the blood was causing a grip issue.. right now it's sealed up pretty good." @Noahsyndergaard takes us through the start of the game and the issue with his finger. pic.twitter.com/0JoHBACHtK— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 10, 2023
It looked pretty gnarly, but the righty made his next start and had been pitching through it in the weeks since — although not particularly well. Syndergaard’s Dodgers debut has been by far his worst season as a pro: He’s put up a 7.16 ERA with 12 home runs allowed through 12 starts so far, including a whopping 17 earned runs on 22 hits over his last three outings. The man who once regularly cracked triple-digits with his fastball with the New York Mets is now averaging 92.6 mph, and he’s struggled to adjust to his new reality as a contact-oriented pitcher (his whiff and strikeout rates both fall in the bottom 10 percent of the league).
It’s been a rough fall from grace for a guy who once looked like one of the game’s brightest young stars on the mound. The centerpiece (along with Travis d’Arnaud) of the return in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays, Syndergaard burst onto the scene in a big way with the Mets, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 and earning his first All-Star nod the next year.
And then the injuries started. A shoulder strain wiped out most of his 2017, then he spent most of 2020 and 2021 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He reemerged last season diminished but still reasonably effective, with a 3.94 ERA between the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies — although he struck out just 95 batters in 134.2 innings, a once-unthinkable number for one of the game’s premier power pitchers.
For the Dodgers, it’s yet another injury to an already-beleaguered rotation. Julio Urias still isn’t back from his hamstring strain, while Dustin May is on the shelf for at least a few more weeks with a balky elbow and Ryan Pepiot has yet to pitch this year due to an oblique injury. Rookie Bobby Miller has been a revelation lately for L.A., but with Syndergaard down, it’s unclear where the team will turn: erstwhile top prospect Gavin Stone has been terrible in his first taste of the Majors, and if the team is hesitant to try him again, it could look elsewhere. Emmet Sheehan has been tearing up the Minors this year, with a 1.64 ERA and 15 K/9 in Double-A.