PHILS RANGER SUAREZ ARRIVES, AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON!

By Sam Bush

Ranfer Suarez is finally in the Phillies Clearwater camp after 10 days in Colombia working out visa issues.

And he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen today, with a goal of being ready to pitch the first week of the season.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” he said through an interpreter on Thursday morning. “I think so.”

Suárez was a bright light for the Phils in 2021. He went 8-5 with a 1.36 ERA in 106 innings, starting the season in the bullpen, then became the closer before the Phillies moved him into the rotation.

According to Todd Zolecki at MLB.com, Suárez became one of only six pitchers in the past 100 years to pitch 100 or more innings in a season and post a 1.36 ERA or better. Bob Gibson (1.12 ERA in 1968), Slim Jones (1.24 ERA in 1934), Red Munger (1.34 ERA in 1944) and Suárez are the only pitchers in that group to start at least one game.

“I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for years,” Suárez said. “Hopefully things happen and I’m able to be a big league starter this season. … I know last season was really good for me. That was great, but that was last season. I have to focus on now, this season, so I hope everything goes well and I stay healthy.”

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