Noah Syndergaard signed a one-year, $13MM free agent deal with the Dodgers this winter, and the right-hander tells the New York Post’s Jon Heyman that “there might have been more money on the table with another team.” But, Los Angeles held particular appeal for Syndergaard, as “I wanted to give myself the best chance to get back to the World Series and win it all. And I wanted the best coaching and direction that the sport has to offer and I’m fully convinced that that is with the Dodgers.” There is certainly a solid track record of pitchers being revived after joining the Dodgers, and Syndergaard might have a lot in particular to offer, given his past ace status and the fact that he is now fully healthy.
Tommy John surgery and some related setbacks cost Syndergaard all but two innings of the 2020-21 seasons. While he had a 3.94 ERA over 134 2/3 combined innings with the Angels and Phillies last year, Syndergaard still felt the “Tommy John hangover,” saying that “I didn’t throw a pitch where it didn’t feel like I was pitching in a straightjacket….It’s hard to get hitters out when you’re thinking about what your body is doing in mid-delivery.” It remains to seen if Syndergaard can ever fully return to his All-Star form, but even solid numbers and a clean bill of health would put him in nice position for a richer, multi-year contract in free agency next winter.
More from the NL and AL West…
- Formerly one of baseball’s top prospects, Evan White played only 30 MLB games in 2021 and none in 2022 due to hip surgery, a sports hernia surgery, and related other setbacks and injuries. White is feeling much better now, however, as the Mariners first baseman told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he received offseason treatment for “a muscle in my pelvic floor that was the biggest issue….You can give me all the stabilization exercises you want, but if I can’t do it from the very inner parts of me, it’s tough to do. I’ve had injuries on that side since I was probably 14 years old. I had to make sure everything was firing, firing the right patterns.” Manager Scott Servais said the current plan is to keep White in his regular first base spot this spring until both White and the Mariners are fully sure of his health, and then perhaps White might get some looks as a corner outfielder, as a way of finding a lineup spot since Ty France now has first base locked down.
- David Villar’s emergence as the Giants’ planned regular third baseman has left J.D. Davis in something of a crunch for playing time, as The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser notes that Davis might only see most of his action when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, with Davis and Wilmer Flores stepping in for Joc Pederson and LaMonte Wade Jr. at DH and first base, respectively. Of course, injuries, under-performance, or the Giants’ penchant for platoon advantages could boost Davis’ time on the field, but on paper, Davis again looks to be a part-time player after filling a similar role over a good chunk of his time with the Mets. Even after an underwhelming start last season, Davis finished 2022 hitting .240/.340/.418 over 365 plate appearances (119 wRC+) with New York and San Francisco, boosted largely by a hot streak after the Giants acquired him at the trade deadline.
The Giants need to stop all the platoon stuff. You can’t platoon the majority of the roster. It worked in 2021 because they fired on all cylinders but I feel like it takes away from guys getting in a groove and succeeding. Being on the bench, despite a hot streak, because of your handedness is inefficient. How will you know if you don’t try? Rosters can only fit so many. They should get whole players instead of half players.
Teams should go with your feelings over provable data, got it. Thanks for the tip!
You clearly missed the point. The Giants need stars and regulars, not a constant mix and match.
Agreed. Once upon a time there were several left handed hitters that were in the lineup everyday, regardless of who was on the mound. Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Wade Boggs, Fred McGriff, Dave Justice, Mark Grace, Will Clark, Harold Baines, John Olerud, Mo Vaughn, Don Mattingly, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Robin Ventura, Johnny Damon, David Ortiz, Ichiro, Rafael Palmeiro, Brady Anderson, Jim Edmonds, Mike Greenwell, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Andy Van Slyke, Carlos Delgado and dozens upon dozens more and the game was probably better than it is right now
Freddy Freeman, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Yordan Alvarez, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Kyle Tucker, Corey Seager, Steven Kwan, Cedric Mullins, Bryce Harper Kyle Schwarber and more are all left handed hitters that play pretty much every day without getting platooned. It’s easy to make a list of the best LH hitters of the day to make a point but it isn’t necessarily accurate.
B.J. Surhoff, Rusty Greer, Eric Hinske, Al Martin, Orlando Merced, Ray Lankford, Wally Joyner, Lou Whitaker, Tom Goodwin, Paul Sorrento, Kent Hrbek, Dave Magadan, Travis Lee. Not all the best hitters but they were everyday players at one point or another
Nathaniel Lowe, Alex Verdugo, Adam Frazier, Rowdy Tellez, Ryan McMahon, Daulton Varsho, Charlie Blackmon, Max Muncy, Mike Yastrzemski, Tony Kemp etc are all LH hitters that approached or exceeded 600 PA last year alone. Like I said, the difference isn’t what you’re making it out to be.
Those are some of the best left-handed batters that have ever played the game though. It’s kinda hard to compare your normal, every day lefty platoon bat to those folks.
Eric Hinske actually got platooned alot. Those players were also over a couple decades. Not all of them played at the same time. I’m fairly sure that there are others that you listed as well. Even John Olerud got platooned for a couple years (one of Cito Gaston’s stupider decisions).
Mr big dig
Sounds like you’re describing you want them to be like the dodgers. Giants are bargain basement dodgers ^.^
I like this game.
You’ve named many HOF’s, many more borderline HOF’s and the remaining were were at the top of the game at the time. Trying to compare those ‘platoon’ guys to your list is insane. Put together another list so people will debate your theory.
Davis needs to be in lineup. He’s one of our better offense players.
No, teams need to collect more data before deciding a player can’t hit against same handed pitchers. Young players need more than one season to adjust to ML pitching, to see if they still have a learning curve.
This one belongs to the Reds
A former big leaguer said you can’t learn to hit left handed pitching without hitting against left handed pitching. Guy’s name was Sean Casey. Look him up, he was pretty good.
Been a Giants fan since 1963 when I was 6 yesrs old. The platoon crap that the Giant manager/coaches have done for the last 3 years is frustrating to say the least. Put a starting lineup of all your best hittets and run with it. I miss the way the game was played back a couple decades but it won’t happen. The managers get too much data. Know your personnel and use a small amount of data and play the best players for 9 innings or more.
So sorry. This is my first reply on here and somehow I posted it 3 times. Not sure what I did but it won’t happen sgain
You’re good mabbers, it’s just the quirkiness of the site sometimes.
Ever considered that “knowing their personnel” is the very reason why some teams run heavy platoons?
If they had studs who can hit both handed pitchers in line with what a platoon can, they’d be playing everyday.
The game wasn’t meant to be played like it is now but here it is. They took common sense and the fun right out of it. Technology is great but baseball tries to hard. The days of the best 9 on the field seem to be gone.
The Mets won the WS in 1969 with platoons at 3 positions ( RF, 1B and 3B). It’s not new.
Putting a line-up of all your best hitters is rarely the same when facing a LHP or RHP.. If your a .900 OPS against RHP and a .620 OPS vs LHP, guess what? you’re platooned.
This is such a strange, but common, take and I don’t quite understand it. If you have a full roster of players, each of whom has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, why would you not take advantage of each players’ strengths at every opportunuty? Why wouldn’t you want to avoid exposing each players’ weaknesses? Maybe if you have 9 legit superstars in your lineup, I guess, but no team has that.
I think there are a number of “platoon” players who if given more ABs against same side pitching, could become everyday guys. In Anthony Rizzo’s first couple of years his ability to hit LH pitching was a weakness. But over time, it became a real strength for him. His defense was excellent and he hit for power which may have been why they were patient with him…
I’m not sure that the platoon concept, which most teams embrace now, allows for that kind of growth anymore. Just a thought…
Joc Pederson has a career OPS of 0.804. Against RHP it’s 0.840 and against LHP it’s 0.623. True that he’s been a platoon player most of his career but when the numbers are this wide you certainly understand why he’s platooned.
Also, platoon players are usually much cheaper in total versus a complete player. Roster construction is much easier with platoon players mixed in.
The Giants put the players in situations in which they have the best chance of success. The data is going to beat emotion over the long haul. Baseball is a long haul.
Davis has hit both LHP and RHP in his career. He would probably be in there everyday if his defence was better than Wade or Villar.
So Davis can hit both LH And RH pitching, but is platooned because of his defence?. What data supports that? Does his fielding vary with the handedness of the opposing pitcher?
Because while Davis might be pretty equal from both sides, he’s still not as good against lefties as Villar was last year, or as good against eighties as a healthy Wade Jr. was in 2021, so unless he becomes an excellent defender at either corner, there’s no justification to playing him everyday. That obviously could change if either Wade or Villar struggle this year.
Only did the data on the platoon splits. The defence opinion comes from people reporting on the team.
I think so. He was great at the plate for us. Got to be the reason. I think it’ that Wade is better defensively at 1B and hits RHP just as well, if not better than Davis. He gets that gig. Wade can’t hit LHP to save his life so they sacrifice defence for the Davis bat.
Motor City Beach Bum
It’s about a TEAM, not individuals. Platoons are necessary to win games. Your Giants won 107 games two years ago using platoons. Stars are great but how many teams have you seen with huge Star Power lose in the playoffs because they didn’t have the right mix of players. SF, TB and Cleveland are good examples of teams using platoons effectively. I’m hoping my Tigers follow suit this year under your old GM Scott Harris.
Trust me when I say that every single Mariner fan is rooting for Evan White big time.
Unfortunately White was rushed to the big leagues and never quite seemed to be comfortable at the plate. Bobby Dalbec, Joey Bart, Jo Adell have seemed to suffer the same only they didn’t sign big extensions before ever taking an MLB at bat
The prevailing hope is that the bad hip was to blame for the offensive woes over the first half of ‘21. Who knows, maybe it had been bothering him since the COVID season even? I will say, he plays like 9.9/10 first base. Incredible lateral movement for a 1B. Hope the rehab gets his body back up closer to 100% so he gets a fair shot to make adjustments at the plate.
White says he has had problems with that side of his body since he was 14. I wonder if the Mariners knew that when they gave him the big contract.
Just checked on his money still owed cause I blocked it out of my memory. $18 million guaranteed left over the next 3 seasons before they can buy him out for $2 million. Get that guys agent a raise!
Rsox- interesting take on Evan White.
It’s funny because I thought Evan White could not have come up at a better time.
The Ms have never done a rebuild before but If you recall the offseason before the 2020 season – one year into the rebuild the FO announced that they’d be putting no expectations on our young players, they were going to be given a long leash. The fans knew that a winning team was still a few years away.
When I think back on how past Seattle FO’s have mishandled various players -I don’t see that same level of mismanagement with Evan White. I just see a young player who has been unlucky with injuries.
18 AB’s in AAA in which he struck out in 5 of them, plus the fact that he spent all of 2019 in AA says he wasn’t ready for MLB. Now granted thanks to the no minor league season in 2020 it was either play at the MLB level or not at all but he should have started 2021 at AAA.
Just go ahead and give White a PHD in sports medicine.
MLB Money Rumors
I bet it was the giants that Syndergaard snubbed. They signed manaea and chicken strip for similar yearly amounts
I believe the same. He will have a great season if he get enough innings to pitch. He looked good in the playoffs last year. Wish the Giant would have signed him. Great competitor.
Not sure snubbed is appropriate but yeah, if he is accepting short term and looking for development, Giants are probably in there. Dodgers got them covered on the winning front, I’m saying neck and neck on the development side. Be interesting to see what you do with him.
I doubt that it was the Giants. The O’s were the other team reported to be interested. I think the Giants signed Manaea because he’s a lefty, not because they missed on Syndegaard. With the departure of Rodon, the only lefty SP is Wood. And for RHPs, I think they preferred Stripling to Syndegaard.
Yeah I also thought that was an unfortunate spin to put on what Syndergaard hopes to accomplish this season, especially given what he says he’s after.
You guys should only worry if Doc starts guaranteeing stuff again. Should be a fun year though, we get to see some of your farmhands turn up! Cheers
I see what you did there. That comment last year was about his own expectations for the team. I thought it was funny how so many people got so riled up by it.
Steve Cohen Owns You
I’ll take “How Many ex-Mets Can We Fit Into One Post” for $500, Alex.
No comma is needed after the word “but.” See Chicago Manual of Style 5.203 for beginning a sentence with a conjunction.
But, hardly anybody cares about this stuff anymore. These days I’m impressed when someone knows that a sentence should never begin with a numeral.
Wow, and do you know an annual membership to this site is only $30 yet you are too cheap to pay for the work done by the professionals here. So sad.
fffbbb makes a very weak point. Just because one doesn’t pay for some membership doesn’t mean one can’t criticize the writing. Sounds like someone thinks that paying money for a site that provides mostly free content makes them better than everyone. Some might say it makes you a sucker.
If you’re going to point out this tiny error, at least provide a link to your source.
CMOS isn’t just free. My link is through an academic institution.
So you commented about a minor error on a free website and referenced a standard that’s behind a paywall?
Your argument is invalid. Newspapers and print journalism have followed CMOS for decades.
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
I’m sure CMOS would have no issues with that sentence.
It’s a grammatically correct sentence so why would they? Keep trying.
Nah, I’m done.
But, I’m also not pretentious.
You also don’t know how to use commas. The first sentence is correct. The second is not. “Nah” is not a conjunction.
If you think grammar is pretentious, maybe you should try going back to See Spot Run.
The second sentence was an intentional reference to the egregious error that started us down this rabbit hole.
I can be a rather nitpicky grammar policeman myself, but citing a paywalled standard on a free website is a bridge too far for me. To each their own, I suppose.
I’ll go resume my 20-plus-year side job as a baseball writer/copy editor now.
You’re talking to someone who’s been in sportswriting for over a decade, bub. Of all people (if you’re telling the truth), you should respect style guides.
Bub? Who are you, Wolverine?
If I’m telling the truth? Wow, that’s presumptuous. Are you telling the truth?
I do respect style guides. I also think you could have cited and linked a free web page, maybe even this one, at chicagomanualofstyle.org, referencing their own CMOS paragraph 5.203:
There are numerous errors on this site every day, and I’ve reached out to offer copy editing services, which they have declined. While I would prefer they get things correct, I’ve come to realize and accept these errors will continue to exist, even if I don’t like it.
That’s too bad. I’ll keep commenting on their errors regardless.
This version of Syndergaard reminds me of Fat Thor… better sense of humor but degraded skills. Maybe I’m just showing my Dodger bias!
I’m glad the Astros play in the AL West and not the NL west.
Platooning is the result of not learning to hit the other way and I don’t mean switch hitting I mean a lefty hitting into left or a righty hitting to right. The shift was so successful at pointing this out it had to be modified. Platooning isn’t new but it’s use is dramatically increased due to pull hitting power swings. All those stud lefties being listed had one thing going for them, they used the whole field. Relearn the art of using the whole field and you’ll see platooning curtailed.
This isn’t so much about platoon lineups as it is about JD Davis not having a position on the field where he’s at least average. He’s definitely not that at 3rd, so now he needs to find AB’s at either DH or 1B. That said I still think a healthy JD ends up with 350-400 AB’s
In mid-June this team was like a dozen + games over .500 then the left-side of their infield went down (Crawford/Longoria) and it started a spiral where for 2 months the team just stopped catching the ball. This team’s formula to win is pitching & defense + enough offense to win. No offense could have overcome how bad their defense was most of the summer. It’s weird they finished .500, the Giants do not win pretty and can lose very ugly especially when not catching the ball.
All the free agents they targeted were all quality defensive players, yeah it did not go like they would’ve hoped but 2023 shouldn’t repeat the defensive collapse of 2022 . Given the relative strength of the NL West, SFG seem to benefit from the new balanced schedule too, TBD how the rule changes impact this roster.
In the end, today is Feb 26 and there’s 162 game season still yet to be played and a lot of unknown between even now and Opening Day
Until white can be declared healthy, and can hit the ball more likely than not he will start the season in AAA. You heard it here folks, stay tune for more revelations.
Davis has no platoon split. He should be playing every day
If his defense was average at 3rd he’d be there but it’s not and while a quality bat it’s not elite that it overcomes his defense at 3rd. So at DH Joc is a better hitter than JD vs right handers, clearly JD will be getting the DH ab’s against lefties. At 1B Wade vs JD. I suspect hot hitter, match up against that day’s starters, etc. may play more a role vs whether the starter is simply right or lefty.
With the rule changes on infield positioning (no shifts, staying on the dirt), I kinda of wonder could he play 2nd ala Jeff Kent.
I agree that Davis’ poor defense is what keeps him from being an everyday player. But 2B is much more difficult than 3B. There’s more ground to cover, plus the DP. No way would the Giants even consider him there.