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Monday, December 6, 2021

Angels’ Noah Syndergaard Is Back in Full Health With Change of Scenes

Noah Syndergaard’s first order of business is anticipated this off-season. He’s going to Orange County.

The Angels’ latest pitcher hasn’t bowled a slider or curveball in two years, a necessary condition in his recovery from surgery on Tommy John’s right elbow. He could have tried to start his off-season throwing program near his home in Dallas, but Syndergaard described the season there as “bipolar”.

“Thirty (degrees) one day, sunny the next,” he said on Zoom with reporters on Friday. “It’s not very conducive to getting out. My throwing schedule is going to take precedence over everything else.”

A lot is at stake. The Angels will pay Syndergaard $21 million next season. This is the highest single-year base salary for a pitcher in franchise history. And given how little he has pitched recently – two innings in the Majors and eight in the Minors last year, after zero in 2020 – Syndergaard represents a big bet on past performance.

Similarly, 29-year-old Syndergaard sees it too.

“Just in the big leagues for six years, in an organization for eight, wherever I was, it was time for a change, a change of scenery so that I could get back to my old self,” he said. “The last two years I felt like I was hanging in a limbo, a kind of rut. It’s been a year since I was back where I used to be.”

Syndergaard said he had been offered multi-year contracts that would total more than the Angels, but his average annual value was less than the $18.4 million qualifying offer he declined from the New York Mets.

As a season, Syndergaard cut his hair and made news to start a book club. He competed in a World Series and earned a beloved nickname (“Thor”), reflecting his long blond locks.

Signing elsewhere was “the hardest decision of my life,” Syndergaard said, “but I definitely think I made the right decision.”

It helped that the Mets did not offer him a contract. He didn’t have a general manager until Thursday, when former Angels GM Billy Appler was officially introduced. Once Syndergaard decided a change of scenery was in order, Anaheim envisioned it as a landing spot.

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The Angels are expected to begin a six-man rotation in 2022, after doing so for the first time in 2021. It is a necessary accommodation for American League MVP Shohei Ohtani, who last season scored 23 as a pitcher and 126 on designated hitter. Apart from Ohtani, none of the Angels made more than 99 innings in the entire season from starting pitcher.

Syndergaard admitted he would be on the limit of one innings next year, but the number has yet to be determined.

“I believe that six persons will help me stay healthy,” he said.

The minions met with Syndergaard and his agent, CAA Sports’ Ryan Hamill, in New York last week. If $21 million and a six-man rotation weren’t enough to lure Syndergaard to Anaheim, the plan presented by the Minesian helped seal the deal.

Syndergaard said Minassian identified some of the same flaws in his pitching mechanics that Hamill had previously reported. He described the depth of Minassian’s pitching knowledge as a “breath of fresh air”.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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