The Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect scattered three hits over four scoreless innings to earn his first Minor League save Wednesday as Class A Lansing blanked Fort Wayne, 7-0.
The Lugnuts have alternated using Syndergaard (3-2) in the rotation and out of the 'pen. One day, he starts and pitches until he reaches his limit -- which has been four innings -- and turn things over to Anthony DeSclafani. Five days later, DeSclafani takes the hill and the 2010 first-round pick relieves him midway through the contest.
While the pitching tandem -- one of two employed by the Lugnuts -- has kept both players on a schedule of sorts, the results have uncovered some discrepancies.
In seven games as a starter, Syndergaard has a 0.79 ERA over 22 2/3 innings. He's allowed 15 hits and four walks while striking out 28 and holding opponents to a .174 average.
Entering Wednesday's contest, the 19-year-old right-hander had a 9.00 ERA as a reliever. Over 17 innings, he's given up 26 hits and nine walks, with Midwest League foes batting .356 against him.
Even after his latest appearance, MLB.com's No. 83 overall prospect has a 7.29 ERA in games he has not started.
Against the TinCaps, Syndergaard worked in and out of trouble several times, escaping each time. He yielded a one-out single to Casey McElroy in the sixth and stranded Duanel Jones and Matthew Colantonio on base in the seventh.
In the eighth, Tyler Stubblefield drew a leadoff walk and McElroy singled to left field. But Syndergaard got Yeison Asencio to ground into a double play and retired Travis Whitmore on a bouncer to second base.
The Texas native finished strongly, striking out the side in the ninth to complete Lansing's Minor League-leading 10th shutout.
Selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2010 Draft out of Legacy High School, Syndergaard is in his third year of pro ball. He was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2010, then went 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA between Rookie-level Bluefield, short-season Vancouver and Lansing last year.