Noah Syndergaard

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Noah Seth Syndergaard

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Biographical Information[edit]

Noah Syndergaard was chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of high school, 38th overall. The choice was compensation for Toronto's failure to sign James Paxton, a 2009 first-rounder. Syndergaard was the Jays' third first-round selection after Deck McGuire and Aaron Sanchez, also pitchers.

The right-hander finished his senior year of high school by going 7-3 with an ERA of 1.40 and had 85 strikeouts in 59 innings. He was not listed as one of Baseball America's top 200 prospects heading into the 2010 Amateur Draft. He made his pro debut with the GCL Blue Jays on July 12th with two hitless, walkless, scoreless innings against the GCL Pirates. He only pitched 5 times as a pro that season, with a 2.70 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. He played for three teams in 2011 - the Bluefield Blue Jays, Vancouver Canadians and Lansing Lugnuts - compiling a record of 5-2, 1.83 in 13 games and 59 innings. In 2012, he spent the entire season at Lansing in the Midwest League, where he was 8-5, 2.60 in 27 games, striking out 122 in 103 2/3 innings. On December 17th, he was one of two key prospects sent by the Blue Jays to the New York Mets - the other being C Travis d'Arnaud - in return for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Other players involved in the deal were catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, both headed to Toronto, veteran catcher John Buck, who went to New York, and young P Wuilmer Becerra who also made his way to the Mets.

Syndergaard went 9-4, 3.06 between the Class A St. Lucie Mets and the AA Binghamton Mets in 2013, striking out 133 in 117 2/3 innings, In 2014. he spent the season in AAA with the Las Vegas 51s, going 9-7, 4.60 in the favorable hitting environment. He maintained his prospect status those two years, as he was up to #11 according to Baseball America and #10 according to before the 2015 season. He started that season back in Las Vegas, but after going 3-0, 1.82 in his first five starts, he was called up to New York to make his major league debut on May 12th, taking the place of an injured Dillon Gee. Facing the Chicago Cubs, he held them scoreless until the 6th inning, locked in a duel with Jake Arrieta, until he allowed three runs, including a two-run homer by Chris Coghlan, and was chased after 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with the 6-1 loss. He picked up his maiden victory in his next start, on May 17th, when he beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-1, throwing 6 innings. In that game, he beaned Carlos Gomez with a 95 mph fastball in the 6th inning, putting him out of the game. On May 27th, he hit his first career home run, taking Sean O'Sullivan of the Philadelphia Phillies deep, while also pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-0 win. It was the first home run by a Mets pitcher since 2012 and he also collected hits in his other two at-bats. On July 10th, he struck out 13 batters in 8 innings in a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On July 28th, he was perfect for 6 innings before allowing a lead-off single to Will Venable of the San Diego Padres to lead off the 7th, then pitched two more scoreless innings as the Mets won, 4-0; he struck out 9 and walked none in another dominant performance. He had a definite Jekyll and Hyde going between home and road starts, as he was 8-1, 1.82 at home and 0-5, 5.05 on the road before he earned his first road win on August 25th, 6-5 over the ­Phillies, although even that win increased his road ERA. He went 9-7, 3.24 in 24 starts, with 166 strikeouts in 150 innings. He then made four appearances in the postseason, including three starts, winning a game in both the NLCS and in the World Series, the latter being the Mets' only win of the series as they went down in five games against the Kansas City Royals.

Already noted as one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the game, on May 11, 2016, he staked a claim as the hardest-hitting pitcher by blasting two home runs off Kenta Maeda of the Los Angels Dodgers. As one of the shots came with two men on, he accounted for all four of his team's runs in a 4-3 win. The last major league pitcher to hit two homers in a game had been Micah Owings, in 2007, while Walt Terrell had been the only Mets pitcher to ever accomplish the feat, on August 6, 1983. On May 28th, he was ejected in the 3rd inning of a start against the Dodgers when home plate umpire Adam Hamari ruled he had deliberately thrown at Chase Utley in apparent retaliation for Utley's dangerous slide which had injured Ruben Tejada in the previous year's Division Series. He was tabbed by the Mets to start the 2016 National League Wild Card Game at home against the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner. All observers predicted a tight pitchers' duel, and that exactly what they got, as Syndergaard matched Bumgarner for seven innings, giving up no runs on two hits and three walks while striking out 10. However, things went south after he left, as the Mets escaped a bases-loaded situation in the 8th, and then saw Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off closer Jeurys Familia in the 9th to go down to a 3-0 defeat.

Syndergaard was named the Mets' opening day starter in 2017 and got off to an excellent start, pitching 6 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves on April 3rd. However, the game was still scoreless when he left, and he had a no-decision even though the Mets eventually won, 6-0. He pitched very well over his first four starts, going 1-1, 1.73, with an amazing K/W ratio of 30/0 in 26 innings, but he also began to experience soreness in his forearm. On April 27th, he had to skip a start because of the condition, and there was serious worry that he would need to go on the disabled list. He claimed that there was nothing seriously wrong and refused the team's suggestion that he undergo an MRI, but when he next took the mound on April 30th, he had to leave the game against the Washington Nationals in the 2nd inning clutching his side in pain. This time there was no avoiding an MRI. He was placed on the disabled list the next day as the exam revealed a partial tear of the right lateral muscle. The prognosis was that he would not return until after the All-Star break. In fact, his return only came on September 23rd, and it was largely symbolic, as he pitched one inning in a start against the Nationals. He needed just five pitches to retire the side, thanks to former teammate Daniel Murphy grounding into a double play, but the point was that he was able to make it back before the end of the year. As planned, Matt Harvey, another pitcher making a comeback from an injury, then took over in the 2nd. He made one final appearance on October 1st, this one of two innings, to finish the season at 1-2, 2.97 in 7 starts.

Back on the field in spring training in 2018, he created a buzz by hitting triple digits on the radar gun 11 times in two innings in his first start. That showed he was in full health, but in the usual soap opera surrounding the Mets, there was also some hair-pulling over whether he was overdoing things this early in the year. He was named the Mets' Opening Day starter, taking over for Jacob deGrom who had started spring training late because of an injury. He got off to a good start, going 4-1, 3-06 in his first 11 games, but on May 29th he went on the disabled list because of a strained ligament in his right index finger. However, contrary to the previous year, the DL stint was expected to be a short one this time. He was still out for a good six weeks, coming back just before the All-Star break on July 13th. He made a couple of starts, winning them both, then was placed back on the DL on July 22nd with a rare ailment: hand, foot and mouth disease. This usually affects children, and speculation was that he got infected while working in a children's camp over the break. He finished the season with a flourish, as he threw his first career shutout on the final day of the season, September 30th, defeating the Miami Marlins, 1-0. He finished the year at 13-4, 3.03 as he and deGrom formed a tremendous duo at the top of the starting rotation for what was otherwise a very ordinary team.

Syndergaard started the 2019 season slowly as he was 1-3, 6.35 in 6 starts in March/April. On May 2nd, he pitched a gem, however, as he hurled a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds and also hit a homer off Tyler Mahle in the 3rd inning to account for the only run in a 1-0 win. The last pitcher to homer and throw a shutout in a 1-0 win had been Bob Welch, back in 1983. For good measure, Noah also fanned 10 batters in the game. There was more controversy typical of the Mets in September, as the media leaked information to the effect that Syndergaard had complained to the team's brass about pitching to catcher Wilson Ramos. He tried to cool down the story, but it was already a surprise he had not been sent packing at the trading deadline, and most observers expected this to be only a short reprieve until an off-season deal. He finished the year at 10-8, 4.28 in 32 games, with 202 strikeouts in 197 2/3 innings. He led the NL with 94 earned runs allowed.

He was still with the Mets when spring training started - and was then stopped - in 2020. He began experiencing discomfort in his elbow before training camps shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Team trainers recommended an MRI exam, which showed that Tommy John surgery would be required, with the hope that he could be ready to return some time before mid-season in 2021. He did indeed return towards the end of that season. He made two starts, going 0-1, and pitching just 2 innings with an ERA of 9.00. He became a free agent after the season and the Mets made him a qualifying offer of $18.4 million, but he declined it and on November 16th signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels for $21 million. The Angels were placing a big bet - that he would return to his pre-injury form, and willing to put not only a large amount of money but also compensation in the form of a second-round pick in the 2022 amateur draft on his return to form. He made his first start for his new team on April 9th, wearing number 34 in tribute to former Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, killed by an intoxicated driver that same day in 2009 just as his career was getting under way. He had a strong first outing, pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros. He continued to pitch well after that, going 5-8, 3.83 in 15 starts. On August 2nd, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for OFs Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez. With the Phils, he was 5-2, 4.12 in 10 games to finish with a combined record of 10-10, 3.94 and 95 strikeouts in 134 2/3 innings, his strikeout rate well below that of his prime seasons reflecting the fact that he had lost a number of miles per hour on his fastball. In the postseason, he was on the bubble between starting an relieving, pitching one inning in relief in Game 2 of the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves before getting the start in Game 4 three days later on October 15th. He was not expected to go deep and indeed left after giving up one run in three innings, on a solo homer by Orlando Arcia as the Phils won the game, 8-3. In the NLCS against the San Diego Padres, he was passed over in favor of young Bailey Falter in Game 4 on October 22nd, a move Philadelphia came to regret as Falter did not get out of the 1st inning, giving up 4 runs, and he ended up pitching an inning and a third in relief in the wild game that finished 10-6 in the Phillies' favor. In the World Series against Houston, he was selected to start Game 3 on October 31st in place of Ranger Suarez, who had been used in relief in a key spot in Game 1. As had been the case in his Division Series start, he was not expected to go deep into the game. However, a rainout changed those plans, allowing the Phillies to start Suarez. He finally got the ball to start Game 5, on November 3rd. After giving up a run in the 1st, he was perfect in the 2nd and 3rd innings. His outing would normally have been over at this point, but Rob Thomson had him start the 4th inning, and it turned out to be a mistake as he gave up a homer to Jeremy Pena before giving way to Connor Brogdon. The two runs were enough to saddle him with a 3-2 loss.

He became a free agent again after the season and on December 14th it was reported that he had come to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year contract worth $13 million. Things did not go very well for him as at the end of May, after 11 starts, his record stood at 1-4, 6.54 and there were calls for the team to simply release him given the Dodgers were in contention for the postseason and could not afford to effectively punt away every fifth start. He probably would have been dropped from the starting rotation already were it not for a rash of injuries to the team's starting rotation having sidelined Julio Urias, Dustin May and Ryan Pepiot, leaving few options available. He ended up making just one more start for L.A., on June 7th, when he gave up 6 runs in 3 innings before being placed on the injured list with a finger blister the next day. On July 15th, he began a rehabilitation assignment with the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, but before he could return to the big team, he was traded to the Cleveland Guardians on July 26th in return for SS Amed Rosario. The Dodgers also threw in $1.9 million in cash to help pay for Noah's remaining salary. In his first start for Cleveland on July 31st, he was hit in the leg by a line drive off the bat of Jeremy Pena of the Houston Astros in the 6th inning. he was leading 2-0 at the time, but one of the runners he had put on base that inning came in to score after he left the game, and Cleveland eventually lost, 7-3. In all, he made 6 starts for Cleveland, going 1-2, 5.40, and was let go on August 27th, with manager Terry Francona citing his propensity to allow the gopher ball as the main reason for the move.

Off the field, Syndergaard is known for his sense of humor, particularly in his twitter feed. In particular, he carried on a hilarious twitter feud with, of all possible nemeses, the Mets' mascot, Mr. Met.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Sources Include[edit]

Blue Jays press release.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "'Never felt better': Thor healthy, excited for '18: Mets hurler talks offseason, rehab while volunteering at baseball camp",, January 7, 2018. [1]
  • Rhett Bollinger: "Syndergaard honors Adenhart in Halos debut: Thor becomes first Angel to wear No. 34 since 2009",, April 10, 2022. [2]
  • Jim Callis: "Syndergaard's upside high, hard to match",, May 8, 2015. [3]
  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets hopeful a healthy Thor will soar in 2018: A torn right lat limited Syndergaard to 30 1/3 innings in '17",, December 18, 2017. [4]
  • Anthony DiComo: "Retooled Syndergaard gets first WS start since '15: Right-hander will begin Game 3 for Phillies in an expected bullpen effort",, October 31, 2022. [5]
  • Helene Elliott (Los Angeles Times): "The Noah Syndergaard experiment isn't working. It's time Dodgers put an end to it", Yahoo! Sports, May 31, 2023. [6]
  • Thomas Harrigan and Rhett Bollinger: "Angels, Syndergaard finalize 1-year deal",, November 16, 2021. [7]
  • Bob Klapisch: "Blame everyone for Syndergaard injury", USA Today Sports, April 30, 2017. [8]
  • Juan Toribio: "Syndergaard, Dodgers agree to 1-year, $13 million deal",, December 14, 2022. [9]

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