Phillies already have the perfect Ranger Suárez replacement

The Phillies starter left Saturday's game after being hit by a line drive. Luckily the Phillies have an obvious replacement if he has to miss any time.
Philadelphia Phillies starter Ranger Suárez could miss his next start
Philadelphia Phillies starter Ranger Suárez could miss his next start / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

After taking a 106 mph screamer to the hand, Ranger Suárez recorded the final out of the second inning on Saturday, tossing the ball to first base. He was grimacing as he walked to the dugout and was pulled from the game for further evaluation.

At the time of Suárez's exit, the Phillies had put up a three-spot in the first inning and he was dealing, with no hits or walks through two innings and two strikeouts on only 23 pitches.

The Phillies finished off the Cardinals 6-1 in a smooth victory. Ironically, Spencer Turnbull picked up the victory with three hitless innings while striking out six out of the bullpen.

It was later discovered that X-rays were negative on Suárez's throwing hand, per MLB.com's Paul Casella, and the Phillies feel they got away with one. Even with the negative results, there is still swelling in his thumb and the injury is day-to-day.

“The ball hit me close to my thumb, but luckily, it didn't catch any bone,” Suárez said via interpreter after the game, per Casella. “So everything's good on that end. Obviously, it was a hard liner toward me, but as soon as I felt the ball hit me, I knew that everything was going to be OK.”

Phillies already have the perfect Ranger Suárez replacement

It's good to see Suárez in good spirits, like he usually is, after a scare such as that. Even with the good news of no fracture, he still could possibly miss time. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Alex Coffey provided some clarification on the status of a potential rotation spot opening.

If there is anything fans know about baseball, it's that injuries happen and it's a long season to get through unscathed. Spencer Turnbull could be the one to pick Suárez up when he's down, just as he did when the Phillies' $18 million man Taijuan Walker hit the shelf.

Manager Rob Thomson certainly took notice of this after Turnbull came in to relieve Suárez on Saturday.

"Turnbull really picked us up tonight," Thomson said, per Casella. " ... If he does have to make Ranger's start, I am comfortable with him at 80 pitches, five [innings] -- something like that."

Turnbull, who was moved to the bullpen after Walker was activated from the IL on April 28, has been a revelation for the Phillies (subscription required) and one of the most underrated acquisitions of the off-season. In his six starts, Turnbull was 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA, 32 1/3 IP and 36 strikeouts. Batters were only hitting .148 against him. The ERA has crawled up to 2.64 since coming out of the bullpen, but fans are excited to see what he can provide for the team moving forward.

Suárez's next start would be the first game against the New York Mets in the London Series next weekend — a game that would see Suárez pitch on a world stage. If it comes down to Turnbull having to fill in, fans might be happy either way.

manual