Through his first five starts this year, Noah Syndergaard has a 5.90 ERA that might have some Mets fans irrationally freaking out. Put simply, he should be just fine in the long run, and it’s important to remember that it is still April.
Over 29.0 innings on his five starts, Syndergaard has a 2.92 FIP. His 27.6 percent strikeout rate is right in line with his career 27.1 percent rate. And his 5.7 percent walk rate is right in line with his career 5.5 percent rate. Opponents have a .346 BABIP against him, which is a good bit above his career .316 mark, and he has stranded just 50.3 percent of baserunners, an insanely low rate that is far worse than his career mark of 73.7 percent and the league average.
To top all of that off, Syndergaard is averaging 98.22 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball, per Brooks Baseball, which—like many of the aforementioned rates—is right in line with his norms. As far as pitch usage goes, things look pretty much the same with his secondaries, as the slider, changeup, and curve have been thrown about as often as he’s thrown them over the past few years. The only difference so far this year is that he’s thrown his four-seam fastball more often than his two-seam fastball, a slight departure from what he had done over the past three seasons.
It’s also worth pointing out that Syndergaard is still just 26 years old and has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past few years. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Thor has a 3.10 ERA that ranks 11th-best in all of baseball among qualified starting pitchers, and among starting pitchers who threw 150 innings last year, his 3.03 ERA ranked 15th-best in the game.
There are no guarantees in baseball, but considering how much Syndergaard looks like himself in terms of stuff and various peripheral rates, he should be just fine. It’s downright foolish to act like he’s not a good pitcher anymore.