Reports have the Angels turning to their farm system once again in an effort to bolster their rotation, with Jose Suarez set to make his debut on Sunday. Prior to the season we gave him a “B-” grade, as he was ranked eighth in the system, and we said:
The southpaw pitched across three levels in 2018, including Triple-A, pitching to a 3.92 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Obviously that’s not highly impressive, but he showed enough of all three skills along the way with a 10.92 K/9 (courtesy of a 14.5% SwStr%), 3.38 BB/9 and 45.9% groundball rate. A 4.02 BB/9 at Triple-A is an obvious concern, which is why he comes in behind Griffin Canning in terms of pitching prospects, but the difference between the two may not be that far apart.
Suarez didn’t make his season debut until May 5, having started the season on the IL with a sore shoulder, and he’s coming off his worst start of the year (6 ER over 3.2 IP). Thus far there isn’t a strong selling point, and his underlying skills help to support the concerns:
- Strikeouts – 7.83 K/9 (10.7% SwStr%)
- Control – 4.30 BB/9
- Groundballs – 42.9%
Maybe the injury has played a role, but nothing about those numbers would excite you. His control has struggled over 101.1 innings at Triple-A, with a 4.09 BB/9. His SwStr% has dropped significantly and the groundball rate screams of potential home run issues. With these concerns and coming off the poor start, the timing of the recall seems a little bit peculiar.
Maybe Suarez makes an initial impact, but as of right now that’s a tough sell. Fantasy owners would be wise to take a wait and see approach, especially since how long he’ll be able to work into a game is a significant question (his longest outing this season is 5.0 IP and the last time he went more than 5.2 IP was all the way back on July 16, 2015). In fact, it should take more than one or two solid outings to convince you of taking the plunge.
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com