Setting the Scene
In 2021, Ranger Suarez returned to the majors for the Phillies in hopes of snagging a consistent pitching spot on the active roster. He did that and more. Last season, Suarez pitched as a Long Reliever, Middle Reliever, Closer, and Starter for the Phils.
Suarez excelled at every pitching position and settled into the starting role for the remainder of 2021.
2021 Stat Line: W/L 8-5, 1.36 ERA, 107 SO, and a 1.00 WHIP.
As of August 22, 2022
2022 Stat Line: W/L 8-5, 3.31 ERA, 87 SO, and a 1.28 WHIP.
When Ranger began his MLB career in 2018, he started out as a starter. The Venezuelan-born southpaw was demoted and spent 2019 and 2020 as a reliever before contracting Covid-19. He had Covid-19 early in the shortened 2020 season, which explains his absence till late 2021.
A Full Season of Ranger
Suarez has been consistent for the Phillies this season. He has not been as dominant as in his 2021 season. However, this season under his belt will allow him more consistency at the position.
Ranger needed to stay in one pitching role instead of bouncing around every pitching position last season until finally falling into the starting role. Most of the shuffling was due to Joe Girardi’s lack of faith in guys who know how to play their roles.
Suarez has worked himself into a solid 3 or 4 starter for the Phils. The other bonus is that he is a lefty, which the rotation has needed since the days of Cole Hamels. Under interim manager Rob Thomson, Suarez does not have to worry about a pitching shuffle anymore.
Since Zach Eflin injured himself yet again, it is up to Ranger Suarez to save the day. Suarez can go deep into games. He pitched seven innings in his last two starts and received two no-decisions. Also, one of them was a win against the Mets.
Hopefully, Suarez can work himself up to pitching a complete game or two by the end of the season. He did it last year against the Pirates on only 97 pitches. So, who is to say he will not do it again?
Additionally, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Ranger Suarez has had the 6th lowest ERA since August 2nd in the National League.
It’s Morphin Time
“Power” Ranger Suarez will be crucial to the Phillies’ playoff run. If the Phillies can get quality starts of Wheeler and Nola to combine with the rest of the rotation, they will not collapse. The Phillies have not had an over .500 September since Pete Mackanin manages the Phightins.
Suarez and Syndergaard building up their endurance and pitching better every game will be huge for the Phils come October. Also, Gibson needs to consistently hit the five full innings at least every start he gets so the Phillies can confidently move through the September schedule.
With Bryce Harper starting his rehab assignment tonight, Ranger and the rest of the rotation will get the reigning MVP back in a lineup that he is much needed.
Overall, Ranger has been tremendous for the Phillies this season. Hopefully, he keeps up the electric stuff and confidently keeps the third starter spot. Suarez gets the ball tonight against the Reds.
Question: When the Phillies make the playoffs, what will their rotation look like for a Wild Card series?
Answer in the comments below!