Noah Syndergaard Adapts to Life with Angels

Noah Syndergaard Adapts to Life with Angels

ANAHEIM, California. – Those who vividly remember Noah Syndergaard, whose hair flew and went crazy on the top of the mountain, may not recognize the 2022 version of the man they call Thor.

He still has long hair, and even fastball, traveling at 100 miles per hour, has become a memory after losing two years due to injuries. But in his first year with Syndergaard’s Los Angeles Angels, his new teammate helped turn Texas into something more Southern Californian.

“He’s from Texas, but he loves the beach,” said Angels right-hand man and Michael Lorenzen of Anaheim descent, about Syndergaard’s Mansfield, Texas roots. “I showed him around and broke him very well. And he loves it. ”

Syndergaard and Lorenzen, represented by the same agency, signed a contract with the Angels in November as free agents – Syndergaard for one year and $ 21 million, Lorenzen for one year and $ 6.75 million. The houses are close to each other., And close to the shore.

“This winter we would meet on the beach every morning, do our daily work there, go into the water and then go to the place where we trained and do all our shooting,” Lorenzen said.

From his first steps in life in his new home, Syndergaard’s return this summer was quick, even as his team began to sink. Syndergaard, who is in town for the weekend series with the Mets, is 4-4 with 3.69 ERA in nine starts in his first healthy season since 2019. He allowed two or fewer runs in the first six.

He did his best at home, winning 3-1 at 1.48 ERA in five starts at Angel Stadium. However, the Angels chose not to line him up to face his former team, planning to use him instead of starting against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

With regular rest, Syndergaard would appear on Sunday. However, as a sign of the unusual challenges facing the Angels pitching team, the team uses a six-man rotation. The idea is to reduce tensions with Syndergaard, who has made just two shots in the previous two seasons, and the team’s two-star superstar Shohei Ohtani, who served as a designated striker when he was off the field.

What Mets fans will miss is a look at a version of Syndergaard that is less dependent on overcoming every blow it encounters.

“I met him several times while he was at the Mets,” said veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, now with the Angels. “And it looks like he’s performing more now.”

Syndergaard’s fast ball is no longer gnashing its teeth, averaging 94 miles per hour (it hit 97 in its most recent start against Boston on Monday). However, he compensates for this by throwing less four-stitch fast balls (23.1 percent) and higher percentages (27.6) and substitutions (24.9). Mix up the slides (16.7) and a few turns (7.7), and today’s Syndergaard is far from the teenager who helped the Mets get to the 2015 World Series with a great speed ball and a desire to send a message to where he threw it. .

Although he declined to speak to New York media before the series, Syndergaard said in a spring interview that he had learned to “work smarter, not more.”

“I even try to focus on my training, nutrition and recovery,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. And most importantly, it is a training session that should take place during the off-season. You can’t get better during the season because you have to manage your workload. The most important thing is the ability to compete on the field.

His comfort with Los Angeles stems from his relationship with Perry Minasian, a general manager who was a scout at the Toronto organization when the Blue Jays coached Syndergaard in the first round in 2010. 2012 trade for RA Dickey.

Syndergaard said of Minasian, “He’s a man who loves the big right-handed, and I meet those criteria.” to improve. ”

The two discussed how to speed up the slope of the hill in his delivery and believe in all the pitches.

“I’ve never had anything like this, the general manager was trying to help me up the hill,” Syndergaard said. “He’s seen a lot of baseball in his life, and I believe what his eyes tell him. It really inspired me to introduce a GM with a game plan that would help me get back to where I was.

No one here expects Syndergaard to regain its old speed. But for an ongoing job, he impressed both his teammates and coaches.

“He’s a very, very thoughtful guy, so we have good conversations,” said Angels coach Matt Wise. “The off-field personality doesn’t match the look. He is an excellent boy. He asks a lot of questions, wants a lot of feedback, and he’s really perfect.

To start, Wise and Syndergaard watched videos of the right-handed 2018 (13-4, 3.03 ERA) and 2019 (10-8, 4.28) seasons, when his stuff was the best.

“Kids who do elbow surgery and are a little reluctant to throw a slide,” Wise said. “It’s something we skipped and we feel very good about where it is now.”

Phil Nevin, who was appointed interim manager this week after the dismissal of Joe Maddon, looked to Syndergaard to face the Reno teams led by Nevi, as the right-hand man had a Mets prospect at AAA Las Vegas in 2014 and 2015. Although they had casual conversations before this spring, Nevin immediately noticed something about Syndergaard that impressed him in March.

“Professional,” Nevin said. “I watch his work, how he follows his work, he was the leader of our team, it’s very nice. When it comes to encouraging boys to work and run, they kind of follow in his footsteps. ”

According to him, Syndergaard drives the rotation of the angels to the bull field before the game and supports which start warms up. Nevin said it was something CC Sabathia did with the Yankees, “and I love it.”

Not everything is perfect. Especially for hunters, the introduction is still happening. Suzuki said that in Washington days, Max Scherzer told him that he thought it would take half a season for the holder and the cube to be really comfortable with each other, “and I believe that.” Syndergaard’s main manager, Max Stassi, said he was not sure what to expect when he started work.

“After two years of challenging, it was a lot of fun to see him come in and succeed,” Stassi said.

On the domestic front, Mr Lorenze said Syndergaard was adapting quickly to the Southern California lifestyle and things were going well.

“Well, he listens to Stick Figure more, a little reggae music,” Lorenzen said. “When you go to the beach and take some vitamin D, you just feel better. It’s nice to see the blue sky, the sunrise, not to be late, knowing that you will play every day. “

Lorenzen said several specialties from his favorite taco shop – “steak tacos, carne asada” – and a career that began very loudly in New York could take place in a quieter atmosphere in his new environment.

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