2 Phillies who will improve in 2022 and 2 who won’t

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports) /
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Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports) /

Ranger Suárez won’t improve in 2022

As much as we’d love for it to happen, it’s hard to see Ranger Suárez replicating what he did in 2021. But that doesn’t mean Suárez won’t continue to be successful in 2022; it’s just unrealistic to expect him to continue putting up sub-2 ERAs if he’s a full-time starting pitcher going forward.

Suárez had a 1.12 ERA over 27 relief appearances when Joe Girardi decided – or rather, was forced due to other pitchers’ struggles – to move him to the starting rotation for the first time since 2018.

It turned out to be one of the only risks to pay off for the Phillies, as Suárez built up his stamina and continued to thrive in the new role. He posted a 1.51 ERA over 12 starts, including a complete-game shutout in his penultimate start, which required only 97 pitches to dispatch the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Overall, Suárez finished the season with a 1.36 ERA over 106 innings, and only allowed 16 earned runs (and four home runs) in 39 games. On a turbulent pitching staff, he was the rock. His teammates sang his praises and proclaimed him their Comeback Player of the Year.

The downside of this success is that Suárez went from largely unknown to front-and-center. He more than doubled his previous career-high batters-faced in a season, and you can bet that many of them are going to be studying footage of his pitches to figure out how to hit him harder in 2022.