No. 3: Ranger Suárez
Ranger Suárez has become a bit of a cult hero to Phillies fans with his unflappable demeanor in big game situations and relative calm when fielding his position. The 28-year-old lefty has earned manager Rob Thomson's trust as a rotation piece. Based on last year's playoff snub of Taijuan Walker when the team needed innings, it appears that Suárez enters 2024 with the edge on the Phillies' No. 3 starter job.
Health was a concern right out of the gate for Suárez last season. He was placed on the IL with left forearm tightness he developed while training with his native Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic. After making his season debut with the Phillies in May, it took Suárez some time to get into a rhythm, but the left-hander found his groove until a right hamstring strain on Aug. 19 landed him on the 15-day IL until September.
Suárez's numbers in 2023 were mediocre at best. In 22 starts, he had a record of 4-6 with a 4.18 ERA to go along with 119 strikeouts (8.57 K/9) in 125 innings. Suárez's sinker, cutter, and four-seamer were all torched by opposing hitters in 2023, and only his curveball (.148 BA) seemed to keep batters off balance throughout the season.
With the Phillies seemingly intent to enter this new season with the same rotation as 2023 (minus Michael Lorenzen), Suárez will be expected to put together a more consistent campaign in 2024. While it's easy to point out injuries as a reason for Suárez's regression as a starting pitcher last year, it's clear he needs to come into 2024 with a better handle on three of his four primary pitches.
Past performance has gained Suárez the trust of Thomson and pitching coach Caleb Cottham, but he'll need to pitch well right from the start in order to maintain his standing in the Phillies rotation. That's why Suárez is No. 3 in our Phillies starting pitcher power rankings.