Phillies: Revisiting our bold spring training predictions
We’re halfway through Phillies spring training, so we’re looking back on our predictions
Two weeks ago I wrote a piece documenting my five really bold predictions going into Phillies spring training.
Today we will revisit some of those predictions and see the progress of them all.
Nick Pivetta will make the starting rotation.
Well, this did not age well. Since my last article, a third member entered the race for the fifth starting position.
Ranger Suarez has had many people turning heads after he has had some solid outings on the mound. Suarez has started three games this spring, he has eight innings under his belt with two earned runs, eight K’s and one walk.
As for his competition, Nick Pivetta and Vinny Velasquez haven’t been on the top of there game. Pivetta has started three games tossing 7.2 innings, seven earned runs, 10 K’s and four walks. As for Vinny, 7.2 innings, four earned runs, six K’s and five walks.
We got to see some of Suarez last season out of the bullpen and he looked solid, ended last season with 37 appearances tossing 48.2 innings and registering an ERA of 3.14. He did that while striking out 42 batters and walking only 12. Ranger is not an arm that is strictly meant for the pen, the 24-year old started three major league games in 2018 and went through the minors as a starter.
Suarez has a four pitch mix of 4-seam fastball, changeup, sinker and slider. He is good at mixing in every one of his pitches consistently. According to baseballsavant.com, he throws the sinker 29.4% of the time, changeup 27%, 4-seamer 23.5% and slider 20.2%.
We have to take into consideration that Joe Girardi and Bryan Price have no ties to Pivetta and Velasquez, they weren’t around when those two were acquired and if they believe Ranger would be better suited for the final spot in the rotation they will put him there.
If I had to decide right now I think they’d decide to go with Suarez for the final rotation spot, assuming Zach Eflin is locked into that fourth spot. With a little over two weeks until opening day, we should get a better idea very soon.