Hopefully, during Noah Syndergaard's time in Cleveland, he still has the ability to stay in touch with the pitching gurus he came to trust during his time in Los Angeles.
No, not the gurus who work for the Dodgers and who paid a hefty price this offseason to import him and try to tweak his mechanics/get his old-fashioned fastball humming again. He's got his own guy.
Though Dodgers fans might've missed this tidbit a few weeks back during Syndergaard's rest and reset, it feels especially pertinent now that the righty has been dealt to the Guardians and decided to share his displeasure with the "cooks in the kitchen" who've made it their job to "fix him" over the past few years. Los Angeles' staff has been chief among those cooks.
Syndergaard's post-Tommy John comedown has often been heartbreaking. The former 100 MPH burner has said he'd "give his hypothetical first born" for a chance to light up radar guns again, a sentiment that anyone who's loved and lost glory days can empathize with.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers added Syndergaard this offseason in an effort to get him to play to his strengths and accept his current state as someone who could live in different quadrants of the zone and maximize the effectiveness of his now-diminished fastball. Who knows what Syndergaard's private instructors wanted to emphasize during his reset in June, but it seems pertinent to recall that Dave Roberts specified the righty spent the absence in Los Angeles with a non-Dodgers coach rather than at Camelback Ranch with team officials. The organization was reportedly "in lockstep" with this move.
Dodgers say good riddance to Noah Syndergaard and his private pitching coach/rehab coordinator
Now, after being swapped for Amed Rosario and sent to Cleveland, Syndergaard will be given every chance in the world to return to form in the second half, as the Guardians try several assorted half-measures towards contention in a weakened AL Central.
Still mired on the IL (and less than a year removed from receiving a World Series start), the right-hander has subtracted 0.8 bWAR this season, alongside a 7.16 ERA and 1.446 WHIP. The blazing fastball may never return, but the competitive edge has never left. Hopefully, he finds redemption while working with people he trusts. Try as they might, the Dodgers could not revive him -- and may not have been given much of a chance.