Syndergaard will likely be capped around 145 IP this year … Means he could be getting a lot of 5-inning starts at Vegas, I was told.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 17, 2014
Syndergaard threw 123.2 innings last year. Taking him to 145 this year, when he turns 22 in August, would be an increase of just 21.2 IP. This is fairly conservative.
Note that Syndergaard only threw 16 more innings in 203 than he did in 2012.
From 2011 to 2012, Syndergaard’s innings increased rose by 48, an increase of 81%. From 2012 to 2013 they rose by 16.67, or 16%.
Lets compare Syndergaard to the Mets’ other big two pitching prospects: Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler with front of the rotation size and fastballs. Coming off heavy workloads in college, in his first professional season in 2011, Harvey threw 135.2 innings, finishing in AA. By 2012, after 110 innings in Buffalo, he was ready for the big leagues, where he threw 59.1 for a total of 169.1 in 2012. Wheeler began 2012 in AA after spending all of 2011 with advanced-A for the Mets and Giants, throwing 115 innings in advanced-A. In 2012, his age 22 season, he tossed 149 innings in double-A and triple-A. Between AAA and the big leagues he threw 168.1 innings last year.
The difference is that Syndergaard should be MLB-ready this year, in his ~145 inning season rather than his 170 max season as Harvery and Wheeler were.
Counting pitcher usage by innings still bothers me. We can do better. Expressing workload in terms of batters faced, or even better, pitches thrown would be more precise. Maybe teams do count in terms of batters or pitches thrown, but express workload publicly in innings for the sake of clarity.
Syndergaard’s batters faced by year:
2012: 439 (420 regular season + 19 playoffs)
2013: 498 (472 + 26)
From 2011 to 2012, Syndergaard faced an extra 201 batters an increase of 84% on his previous year. From 2012 to 2013, he saw 59 more batters an increase of only 13%. He faced fewer batters per inning. In 2012, he saw 4.1 batters per inning. In 2013, it was 4.0.
So, Syndergaard will throw about 150 innings in 2014. That’s not surprising.
Something else I learned: Syndergaard’s manager on the 2011 Lansing Lugnuts was Mike Redmond, currently of the Marlins.