Phillies: Three players who will breakout in 2020
Ranger Suarez, RP
The Phillies bullpen was an absolute dumpster fire last season. They recorded the 8th worst ERA in the NL while also having one of the highest BAA’s in the entire MLB (.258). The team regularly blew potential wins late in games and failed to ever establish any guys fans could truly trust.
The team suffered an excruciating amount of injuries to the relief pitcher department in 2019. Projected crucial pieces to their bullpen like David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Seranthony Dominguez, Edubray Ramos, and Victor Arano all missed a majority of the season. By the end of the year, the front office was full on bargain buying in guys such as Mike Morin and Jared Hughes.
Most of the Phillies backup relievers failed in the absence of those big names, however, one guy who actually showed some life was second year player Ranger Suarez. In 48.2 innings of work, Suarez posted a 3.14 ERA and struck out 42 batters. His 3.50 K/W ratio would have ranked second best on the team had he pitched more innings.
Suarez doesn’t necessarily have elite “stuff” (his fastball sits around 92-93mph), but he does provide an interesting dynamic to the team. A starter in the minor leagues, Suarez has the ability to really stretch out his outings across multiple innings. For a team with as shaky of a starting rotation as the Phillies, this should prove to be very useful.
Suarez is also a much desired “lefty reliever”. Considering the Phillies top two projected relief pitchers for next season are both right-handed (Dominguez, Neris), Suarez should expect to see quite a bit of action in the earlier innings. A spot he should excel at.