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Ranger danger

Mostly thanks to COVID-19, 2020 was a lost season for Ranger Suarez

Boston Red Sox v Philadelphia Phillies
2020 was a wasted year for Ranger Suarez
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The numbers

G:3, IP: 4.0, W-L: 0-1, ERA: 20.25, K/9: 2.3, BB/9: 9.0

The background

The Phillies signed Suarez as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2012. He progressed through the minor leagues and made his debut as a fill-in starter in 2018. Those fill-in starts weren’t especially successful, so he started the 2019 season in the minors.

He was recalled to the majors in June of that year, and spent the remainder of the season as a reliever. He performed well, going 6-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 37 appearances. Based on that performance, the Phillies were optimistic about Suarez heading into the 2020 season.

The good

Suarez was part of the the competition for a rotation spot in Spring Training, and based on early returns, he might have been emerging as the favorite. Unfortunately, things soon took a sharp downward turn...

The bad

Bad: Having your chances at the fifth starter job ruined due to a global pandemic.

Worse: Contracting COVID-19, and despite only displaying mild symptoms, being forced to quarantine for the majority of the season.

Even worse: Once you are deemed healthy enough to join the team, you pitch extremely poorly.

Suarez finally joined the big league team in September, and fit right in with the rest of the awful relief corps. He made three appearances, none of which went very well:

The future

2020 was a lost season for Suarez, but he may still have a bright future. Barring his inclusion in a trade, Suarez will be at camp for Spring Training. Depending on how the Phillies address their pitching staff this offseason, Suarez could again be in the mix for the fifth starter job, and failing that, he would be a strong candidate for a bullpen spot. If he can capably handle either of those jobs, it would be a boon for the team’s chances.