This is not a Best Shape of His Life story, really, but the fact that Noah Syndergaard has put on 17 pounds of muscle this offseason comes in the course of this excellent profile of him at Sports Illustrated. He has worked out all offseason, adding that muscle and reducing his body fat. The guy is already a beast. If he puts on mid-career Roger Clemens-style bulk, he might be downright scary.
The rest of the story is good reading, chronicling the transformation of a large, awkward-looking high schooler into one of the most talented young pitchers baseball has seen for a while. We’ve all seen that unfortunate high school picture of Syndergaard. Now we know him as a triple-digit throwing ace with long flowing locks. Locks that require a $32 shampoo called “Cavier.” Hey, if you had his hair and his money you’d probably buy that too.
At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.
This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.
This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.