It was the first ever game 7 in Phillies franchise history, there were 46,000 screaming fans in Citizens Bank Park, Mr. Rager by Kid Cudi was on the speakers, and there was one thing everyone in the Delaware Valley could agree on: Faith in Ranger Suarez.
Unfortunately, that game didn’t go the way any of us wanted it to. Yet the trust given by thousands to the night’s starting pitcher was not only well-earned, but also well-placed.
Suarez is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and fortunately over the past few years he’s become predictably reliable as a middle of the rotation starter. 2023 was no different.
2023 Stats: 22 G, 125.0 IP, 4.18 ERA, 95 ERA+, 1.42 WHIP, 22.0 K%, 2.4 fWAR
Suarez’s defense continues to be one of the most outstanding components of his performances, and for the second year in a row it’s likely that the only reason he wasn’t a finalist for the Gold Glove was that he didn’t meet the innings requirements.
There’s nonchalant ...— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2023
And then there’s Ranger Suárez. pic.twitter.com/aZrVbSWiQp
In the postseason, Suarez gave the Phillies exactly what they needed in his 4 starts (18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 2 BB, 19 K). Before the ill-fated Game 7, he had the lowest ERA in Major League Baseball postseason history (0.94).
Ranger Suárez, Dirty 82mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/rGYw4IXuak— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 7, 2023
For the second season in a row, Suarez missed significant time due to injury. After suffering an elbow strain during the World Baseball Classic, he started the season on the 15-day IL and didn’t make his season debut with the Phillies until May. He also missed two weeks in the end of August with a hamstring strain.
Suarez also got the loss in the aforementioned game 7 of the NLCS, his first career postseason loss, after giving up 3 earned runs to Arizona.
Suarez has two more years of arbitration before he becomes a free agent. What happens with his future will likely depend on the status of the Phillies’ rotation heading into the 2024 season, but a multi-year extension wouldn’t be too surprising. He’s projected to make about $5.7 million in arbitration in 2024.
One interesting note about his future: If Rhys Hoskins signs elsewhere, Ranger Suarez will become the second longest tenured player on the Phillies, only after Aaron Nola.