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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 01: Ranger Suarez #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the third inning in Game Three of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 01, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ranger Suarez has yet to pitch this season after injuring his elbow preparing to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He missed all of Spring Training, and so far all of May. But he has been progressing in his rehab assignments. To the point, he was able to throw 45 pitches across 5 innings in a AAA start over the weekend. Which was apparently enough to make the Phillies comfortable with calling him up. He is currently expected to be called up to pitch one of the games this weekend vs the Rockies.

And they badly need his help. The Phillies starters have struggled badly at the start of this season. Zack Wheeler has had some brilliant outings, but also some real blow-up games. Including his game over the weekend vs the Red Sox where he gave up 4 runs over 5.1 innings. Aaron Nola has been even more all over the place. After going 8 innings vs the Astros and giving up just 1 run, he got teed up by the Dodgers on Wednesday. As a unit, the Phillies starters have a 4.91 ERA. That’s 11th in the National League.

Matt Strahm has been perhaps their most consistent starter, and he was expected to be coming out of the bullpen. That is the role he will return to now that Ranger Suarez is back. Strahm came into Sunday’s game to get the save against the Red Sox.

It may take him a while to get back up to speed though. He has topped out at 45 pitches in his rehab starts. So he will be on a pitch count for at least his first few starts. But if he can eventually regain the form he had in the World Series, it will go a long way to breaking the snide the team has been on. Relief Pitcher Andrew Bellatti also started his rehab assignment in AAA over the weekend.

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