Noah Syndergaard made his second Spring Training start Saturday. He struggled to command his fastball. His line: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. He was 96-98 early and 95-97 over the course of his outing.
According to Michael Fenson in The Star-Ledger, Syndergaard threw 31 of 52 pitches for strikes – 59.6%. MLB average is 62.5%.
He threw just one changeup through the first two innings, but added “seven or eight” in the third inning. As Syndergaard put it, about Dan Warthen:
“I think he got a little frustrated with me because I had only thrown one changeup. And that’s something I really need to work on to make the next step to the big leagues — being able to locate my changeup, and being able to also work behind in counts. Just be a little bit more unpredictable — not so fastball-oriented. If you’re not throwing the changeup, or you can’t throw it for a strike, then hitters can just eliminate that pitch and they’re going to sit on the heater.” (Adam Rubin, ESPNNY.com)
Syndergaard’s own explanation for his walks focused on his mechanics.
“Just kind of started coming out of my delivery. Started doing too much… Opened up my front side, came out of my delivery. Just trying to do a little too much.” (Matt Ehalt, NorthJersey.com)
Ian Kinsler was impressed by Syndergaard’s curveball.
“He looked like he belonged out there, and he threw the ball well today. … He had really good velocity. He had a pretty good presence out there. He threw me a couple of curveballs for strikes. It was a good pitch. I don’t know where he is in his development or anything like that, but he threw the ball well today.” (Adam Rubin, ESPNNY.com)
Mike Vorkunov in The Star-Ledger goes long about Syndergaard. He tells the now familiar story of Syndergaard’s late high school growth spurt and velocity increase. Vorkunov attributes the beginning of Syndergaard’s Thor nickname to his photo in the weight room on Halloween. That’s surely wrong. We were using it around here all of the 2013 season (in April, May, and June, for example) and Daniel Wexler started using it in December 2012.
Oh, and his bunting looks, well, awkward (thanks Amazin Avenue).