5 Phillies Who Have Pleasantly Surprised So Far This Season

Ronald Torreyes #74 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ronald Torreyes #74 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Ranger Suarez #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

2. Ranger Suarez

Until Saturday’s eventual 8-7 walk-off win against the New York Yankees, left-handed pitcher Suarez had not allowed an earned run in 20 1/3 innings this season. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez ended his perfect 0.00 ERA with a two-out, eighth-inning RBI single to right fielder Bryce Harper — scoring fellow slugger Aaron Judge from second base.

Suarez had recorded 63 outs before giving up that first and only earned run of the season. Nonetheless, the Venezuela native’s 0.42 ERA, 18-4 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and 0.563 WHIP through 12 appearances and 21 1/3 innings in his fourth season donning red pinstripes are still an impressive resumé.

Suarez’s 0.42 ERA ranks as the best among qualified relievers in Major League Baseball, with the Chicago White Sox’ Garret Crochet (0.44 ERA), San Diego Padres’ Mark Melancon (0.66), and Chicago Cubs’ Craig Kimbrel (0.68) closely behind.

3. Vince Velasquez

Seven-year veteran Vince Velasquez had another respectable start against the potent Yankees lineup. Through five innings, he surrendered six hits, one walk, and just two earned runs while striking out 5 of 21 batters faced over 83 pitches (52 for strikes).

In nine starts this season, the versatile Velasquez is 2-1 with a 3.95 ERA, 45-19 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and 1.292 WHIP over 43 1/3 innings. Through four relief appearances, however, he has posted a 6.75 ERA, 2.063 WHIP, and 12-8 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Perhaps the rotation is where the California native belongs in 2021. With offseason signees Matt Moore and Chase Anderson not working out nearly halfway through the season, Velasquez will surely receive plenty of more opportunities in the coming weeks.