Did Noah Syndergaard just admit Dodgers IL stint was for mental break?

Thor just let one slip.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Noah Syndergaard hit the injured list on June 8 as he was dealing with a blister on his finger, but Los Angeles Dodgers fans knew that wasn't really the reason he was being shelved. The right-hander had been dreadful this season even before experiencing these issues.

Syndergaard, who was signed to a one-year, $13 million contract in the offseason, has arguably been the worst free agency addition in MLB this year. He's 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA, 5.52 FIP and 1.45 WHIP in 12 starts (55.1 innings) with horrible advanced metrics to boot. His velocity is down. His strikeouts are down. His hits and home runs allowed are way up.

The Dodgers made this deal in an effort to bypass more expensive options and cut a corner by adding a bounce-back candidate without a commitment beyond 2023. Instead, it's been an utter waste of $13 million.

Before Syndergaard hit the IL, there was talk about his mechanics being off. The right-hander denied that and said he was dealing with various mental obstacles. Then the blister apparently gave the Dodgers an excuse to put him on the shelf for a while because they could no longer afford to trot him out there every fifth day.

It seems that was indeed the case, too, because Syndergaard, in an interview with Insider Sports, pretty much focused on the fact he badly needed a "mental reset" to help address whatever's been going on with his play.

Was Noah Syndergaard really injured when Dodgers placed him on the injured list?

At no point in this article were Syndergaard's blisters or injury mentioned. It was largely focused on his mechanics, struggles, and need for time away from the game in order to figure out a way to get right before it was too late.

It's not like this is anything new, either. Earlier this season, Syndergaard talked about how he was on a journey of sorts to reinvent himself once he realized his trademark velocity wasn't coming back. He thought it would eventually be rediscovered after he was out of the woods with his Tommy John surgery, but his 2023 performance has all but confirmed he'll be hurling mid-to-low 90s fastballs from this point forward.

Thor is currently on the mend, but it's not helping that Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts continue to be cryptic about his status. Friedman and Roberts both recently spoke to The Athletic and here's waht they said:

"Right now we just have to get him healthy and then get him in positions to use his body more effectively. If we’re able to do that, I think we’ll see a real uptick in stuff and then a much stronger case that he can help us win a lot of games. If we can’t get him back, then obviously that’s more difficult."

Andrew Friedman

"Roberts didn’t go into specifics on what work Syndergaard has been doing off-site, saying: 'He’s got someone that he’s really comfortable with and trusts, that our organization is in lockstep with, so I think it’s a tag-team situation. Right now it makes more sense to keep him local in Los Angeles.'"

Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic

Yeah, all we're saying is that this is much, much larger than "blisters" and it's being confirmed through context after the three-week anniversary of the right-hander last appearing in a game.