LHP Andrew Suarez
Look, I like Andrew Suarez, and I have vouched for him a ton in the past. But we now have what a “full season” of starts would look like from him, and it’s not great.
Over the last two years, he’s started 31 games, appeared in 50, and accumulated 193 innings. During that time, he posted a 4.71 ERA and 1.35 WHIP while tallying just 155 strikeouts.
That’s just not going to cut it from a 27-year-old former prospect.
Suarez has shown decent command with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 3:1. The problem is command within the strike zone, as opponents hold a .276 average against for his career.
With a 19 appearance difference as a reliever and a starter, I thought I’d do my due diligence and see whether his splits as a starter or reliever were any different. They were not.
The prospect factor is strong with this one too. Top prospect Logan Webb and even Conner Menez are prospects more likely to get a shot in 2019 than Suarez.
I envision a rotation with an ace, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, a veteran free-agent signing, and a prospect.
When you include guys like Dereck Rodriguez, Tyler Beede, Webb, and Menez in the mix for that No. 5 starter job, Suarez seems even less likely to break camp with a spot.
At this point, Suarez is what he is, which is a back-end rotation guy at best. I don’t think he’ll start the year in the rotation, which means he likely won’t be on the roster.
His stuff didn’t play up in the bullpen his command in the zone just isn’t good enough right now for the big league level. He’s better off starting the year at Triple-A, or somewhere else where he can work on his in-zone command.