KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If the Angels are going to trade Noah Syndergaard before the Aug. 2 deadline, he might have helped increase his value on Monday night.
Syndergaard gave up one run in 5-2/3 innings in the Angels’ 7-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
The Angels are clearly too far out of the race to try to “buy” at the trade deadline, and it’s likely they’d prefer not to “sell” anyone who could help them win in 2023, so that leaves Syndergaard, who is a free agent at the end of this season. He is owed just over $7 million for the rest of the season.
With most contenders looking to add pitching, Syndergaard should be able to get the Angels something of value.
In his first season back after missing most of the past two recovering from Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard has a 3.83 ERA, with 64 strikeouts and 20 walks in 80 innings.
He still hasn’t seen his fastball get back to the upper-90s levels from before surgery, but he still believes he will.
“It’s definitely in there,” Syndergaard said a few days ago. “It’s just all about getting the feel back.”
The other question that contenders might have about Syndergaard involves his durability. The Angels have used him all season on at least five days of rest because they have a six-man rotation. Syndergaard said last month that he appreciated the extra rest, considering he hadn’t pitched in two years.
Another contender, however, might not be able to give Syndergaard the extra days between starts. The rest he’s gotten so far, however, could be a plus, because his limited innings could mean he still has something in the tank in October.
For now, Syndergaard remains an Angel. He also could make one more start – likely on Sunday – in the Angels’ final game before the deadline.
On Monday he pitched around trouble for most of the night. He stranded runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings, escaping the third and fifth with strikeouts.
In the sixth, he retired the first two hitters quickly. Then he gave up an infield hit to Emmanuel River and he walked Nick Pratto.
Manager Phil Nevin came to the mound, but he didn’t pull Syndergaard.
Given a chance to get out of the inning, Syndergaard made his pitch. He threw a first-pitch slider that broke Michael A. Taylor’s bat as he flicked it into center field.
That ended Syndergaard’s night.
Relievers Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera then gave up four runs in the seventh, thanks to an error, three wild pitches and three walks, one intentional. Austin Warren gave up a two-run homer in the eighth.
As has been their issue for most of the past two months, the Angels could not afford any hiccups on the mound or in the field because they have been one of the least productive offensive teams in baseball. A day after Sunday’s rare nine-run outburst, they were back to their typical production and were shut out for the ninth time this season.
In the fifth inning, they loaded the bases with one out and the top of the order due. Shohei Ohtani hit a grounder to first baseman Pratto, who threw home for the force out. Taylor Ward then hit a fly out to deep center field.
In the sixth, Jared Walsh led off with a double. Luis Rengifo tried to move him to third with a bunt, but pitcher Amir Garrett threw out Walsh at third. Max Stassi then hit into a double play.
More to come on this story.