Syndergaard DFA'd by Guardians

August 27th, 2023

TORONTO -- ’s tenure with the Guardians came to a premature end, as the club announced he was designated for assignment after Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays.

The news came after Syndergaard allowed five earned runs on four hits -- including three homers -- in the series finale. Cleveland came back from a pair of deficits to claim a 10-7 win in 11 innings at Rogers Centre.

“The home runs, they kind of get in the way a little bit,” manager Terry Francona said after the game. “And I know it frustrated him.”

It’s been a rough season for Syndergaard, who’s pitched to a 6.50 ERA between Los Angeles and Cleveland.

The right-hander was acquired six days ahead of the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline in a deal that sent Amed Rosario to the Dodgers. The trade came as a response to a wave of injuries to the Guardians’ rotation, which is currently without former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber as well as Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill.

But Syndergaard’s struggles carried over to his new team, save for a quality start against the Dodgers on Aug. 22. He recorded a 5.40 ERA over six starts with the Guardians, enduring a lot of hard contact as he struggled locating his pitches.

Those numbers are far from the All-Star marks he posted in the prime days of his career with the Mets, when the nickname “Thor” rang true beyond his long blond hair. But bouts with injuries -- including Tommy John surgery in 2020 -- cut into Syndergaard's effectiveness, and he's struggled to regain form since.

“It just feels like I’m pitching on ice skates,” Syndergaard said after a six-run start against the Reds on Aug. 16. “I feel like every time I try to use my legs, they slip out underneath me.”

The Guardians tried to focus on Syndergaard’s athleticism on the mound as a way to help him find consistency, but after 10 home runs allowed in five August starts, and with the race heating up in the American League Central, both parties seemed to run out of time.

Quantrill is expected to return by Sept. 1, which should widen Cleveland’s rotation options. Quantrill aced his fourth rehab start on Saturday, pitching 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts in what the club expects will be his last rehab outing before rejoining the Major League club.

Syndergaard wasn’t available for comment after Sunday’s game.