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Struggling Syndergaard trying hypnosis to turn season around

Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Noah Syndergaard is going to great lengths to turn his Los Angeles Dodgers tenure around.

The former All-Star hurler has begun using hypnosis to work through his early-season struggles, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

"I'll try just about any resource I have just to snap out of it," Syndergaard said.

During several hypnotherapy sessions over the last few weeks, Syndergaard has worn an eye mask in a dark room while Dodgers mental skills coach Brent Walker has talked to him softly.

"I've done a lot of meditation and mindfulness practices (in the past)," Syndergaard said. "This is similar feels. It's just like trying to get your body in a super deep state. ... Matching the physical side with how my mind is working."

The 30-year-old has long been a gifted physical pitcher, renowned for an eye-popping fastball that regularly closed in on triple digits. However, he said he's always struggled with overthinking and mental barriers, even during his peak years with the New York Mets.

Syndergaard posted a cumulative 3.94 ERA over 25 appearances with the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels in 2022 following his return from Tommy John surgery. He contributed to the Phillies' NL pennant-winning club but failed to replicate the powerful version of "Thor" that made him a star.

Syndergaard signed a one-year, $13-million deal with the Dodgers this winter with hopes that the team's performance staff could help him rediscover his old form. Instead, he's had an even bigger downturn on the mound.

His 6.32 ERA entering Tuesday's start is the 10th-highest among pitchers with at least 30 innings, and he owns a career-worst 6.0 K/9 rate. His once-vaunted fastball, meanwhile, is now averaging just 92 mph.

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