When the Cleveland Guardians dealt shortstop Amed Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Noah Syndergaard, the hopes were not high for what the man known as Thor would give them. Syndergaard has been up and down since landing in Cleveland, and the fact there are ups at any point was really the best-case scenario.
Through four starts, Syndergaard has alternated between allowing just one run and allowing five runs (Wednesday's loss had six total runs scored). The almost 31-year-old veteran is somehow able to keep opposing batters from doing much damage, or he is throwing glorified batting practice. While expecting much from Syndergaard would have been foolish, the hope was that he would be better than he has been. Syndergaard has given up 11 runs on 23 hits, six of which were home runs, over his last 16 innings and that is simply unacceptable.
Opposing batters are slashing .287/.361/.540 with a ridiculous .901 OPS in Syndergaard's first four games with the Guardians. Additionally, when a runner with any speed reaches base with him on the mound, it is almost a guaranteed stolen base, as there have been 11 successful stolen base attempts in 21.1 innings.
It is incredibly frustrating to continue seeing someone whose best days are clearly behind him having to take the mound every fifth day for the Guardians. Syndergaard was having trouble commanding his pitches Wednesday. This played a factor in his second consecutive start being shorter than the one that preceded it. Well, that and the fact he gave up multiple home runs for the second time in three games.
As long as Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie are on the shelf with the Guardians still technically in the mix for the American League Central division, expect to see Syndergaard keep making starts, as painful to watch as they may be. If Bieber or McKenzie can return, they could cut bait with Syndergaard, as he is the least effective of their starting pitchers. If that is not possible, maybe a September call-up can bump him from making starts, as it is clear he is more of a liability than an asset on the mound.