Ranger Suárez injury setback causes Phillies rotation issues

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Phillies left-hander Ranger Suárez’s most current obstacle has the Phillies trying to find a 5th starter prior to Opening Day.

The Phillies canceled Suárez’s bullpen session Wednesday early morning at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater since of left elbow swelling. Suárez has actually not pitched because March 8, when he felt inflammation in his lower arm while pitching for Venezuela in a World Baseball Classic exhibit. He just recently resumed throwing, and he appeared to be on track to pitch the very first week of the season. Now, Philadelphia is thinking about other choices.

“I can’t say no, but I’d say there’s a strong possibility that he won’t be ready [by Opening Day],” Phillies supervisor Rob Thomson stated following a 6-2 loss to the Rays in a Grapefruit League video game on Wednesday at Tropicana Field. “But it’s not out of the question. We just shut him down for a couple days. We’re not really concerned about it, but we want to knock that out and get him back on the mound soon.”

Thomson stated an MRI test exposed no structural damage in Suárez’s elbow. He stated he hopes Suárez will start tossing once again in a couple of days.

The Phillies’ starting-pitching depth is being checked early with injuries to Suárez, best-hander Andrew Painter (sprained proximal UCL in right elbow), left-hander Cristopher Sánchez (left triceps muscles tightness) and right-hander Nick Nelson (stretched left hamstring).

It is why the Phillies are thinking about Strahm. They signed him to two-year, $15 million agreement in the offseason to be a high-leverage reducer. But Strahm has actually made 25 starts in his major league profession, and he still tosses 5 pitches (four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, sinker and changeup) that must serve him well in a multi-innings function. Philadelphia has actually been developing Strahm, preparing to get him to 3 innings prior to the club breaks camp next week.

Hypothetically, Strahm might offer the Phillies 3 innings in a video game, and they might then utilize the rest of their reducers to get the slack.

“A length, bulk guy we call him,” Thomson stated about Strahm. “Whether he starts the game or comes in later, who knows?”

If Suárez opens the season on the 15-day hurt list, the Phillies will have 2 tasks offered in the bullpen. Right-hander Yunior Marte is a preferred for among them. He not just has actually pitched well this spring, however he can pitch numerous innings.

But the Strahm strategy may be the very best prepare for now.

“I mean, I think we got it covered,” Thomson stated. “I really do. We still have guys like [Minor League starter James] McArthur on the roster. And we can stretch some other guys out that are here. Ortiz is a one-plus [inning] guy. We’re probably going to get him to two at some point. So we’ve got some options. But not a true starter, I would say.”

Taijuan Walker permitted 8 hits, 6 runs and 2 strolls, while setting out 5 in 4 2/3 innings on Wednesday. It was his very first start for the Phillies because he pitched for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Walker had actually not pitched because March 14 for Mexico.

“Everything felt good, I just ran out of gas,” Walker stated.

Walker’s four-seam fastball balanced 92.0 miles per hour, below 93.7 miles per hour last season. No concerns, Walker stated.

“Eight days [since he last pitched], traveling, going from Arizona to Florida,” he stated. “Everything will be good. I’m not worried about my velo.”

He is healthy. That’s the very best news. The Phillies require it.

“I’m trying to take the ball every fifth day and go six, seven innings in and try to go as deep as possible every outing,” Walker stated. “Really just staying healthy and taking the ball.”

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