The Phillies starting rotation may be a little thin to start the season. First, it was the news that Andrew Painter had a UCL Strain that will shut him down for 4 weeks. That was a few weeks ago now. He may be able to start ramping up soon. But now it looks like they could be without Ranger Suarez too. Per Todd Zolecki, Ranger is experiencing some inflammation in his left elbow. They will shut him down for now, and see how it recovers. But it means that he will likely miss the start of the season.
Ranger Suarez had a setback this week. Inflammation in left elbow. No structural damage. Shut down for a few more days. Rob Thomson said “there’s a strong possibility he won’t be ready” the first week of the season. Said they aren’t seriously concerned though.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 22, 2023
The good news is that there is no structural damage. And they are saying they are not too concerned. But it is another arm they will be missing. It was already expected that Bailey Flater would have to fill one of those starter spots to start the season. Now they will need to find another arm to fill in at least to start. Nick Nelson is a possibility. Matt Strahm could also fill in, though he may not be able to go very deep in games since he usually comes out of the pen. They could also just go with a straight-up bullpen game.
Ranger has been an underrated force for the Phillies the last couple of years. He was moved from the Pen to the rotation in mid-2021 and looked like an Ace. Last year his numbers evened out a little bit, but as a 3rd starter, he was still very good. And he was perhaps their best pitcher period during the run in the playoffs. He faced one of the best lineups in Baseball and didn’t blink.
Hopefully, it really is no big deal and he could be back soon. because the Phillies badly need him to be himself this season.