Andrew Suarez has had a strong spring training so far, and he may be playing his way onto the San Francisco Giants roster in the process.
The former Giants starter was relegated to the bullpen and Triple-A last season after making 29 starts as a rookie in 2018, but he has been lights out so far this spring.
In four scoreless innings of work in his first two appearances, Suarez has allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out six of the 14 batters he has faced.
It’s a small sample size, but the left-hander has impressed nonetheless.
These are massive improvements over his 2019 campaign when he struggled early, was sent down to Triple-A, then returned as a bullpen arm. He finished the year with a 5.79 ERA in 32.2 innings spanning two starts and 19 relief appearances at the MLB level.
As a rookie, Suarez finished 7-13 with a 4.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 130 strikeouts in 160.1 innings pitched while working exclusively as a starter.
If the 2014 second-round pick continues putting up numbers like he has so far this spring, he could earn back a spot in the starting rotation.
However, he will need to continue to pitch well, since the Giants have a lot of arms in camp competing for the final spot in the starting rotation.
Veteran holdovers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto will likely occupy the first two spots on the staff, while free-agent signings Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly are the favorites to fill the No. 3 and No. 4 starter spots.
That leaves guys like Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, Conner Menez, Dereck Rodriguez, as well as non-roster invitees Tyson Ross and Trevor Cahill, in the mix for the No. 5 starter job.
Suarez showed glimpses of being a solid MLB starter back in 2018, and his spring performance so far has opened some eyes.
If he continues to throw the ball well in Cactus League action, it will be interesting to watch how the Giants go about finding a spot for him on the Opening Day roster.