The Phillies will finally have a lefthanded starter as they will promote prospect Ranger Suarez to start Thursday's series opener in Cincinnati.
Suarez has a 0.57 ERA in three starts with triple-A Lehigh Valley since being promoted from double A at the end of June. He was roughed up in his first start of the season but responded by posting a 1.75 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 20 walks in his next 14 starts.
Suarez, who turns 23 in August, will be the team's first lefthanded starter since Adam Morgan on Sept. 28, 2016. He is just the fourth Phillies homegrown lefthanded starter to reach the majors since Cole Hamels debuted in 2006 as he joins Morgan, J.A. Happ, and Antonio Bastardo.
"He's shown the ability to get swings-and-misses in and out of the strike zone, has a good sinker, incredible demeanor," manager Gabe Kapler said. "We saw him in spring training. There's some courage there. I don't think the situation gets too big for him. A lot of confidence in him and we believe he has a lot of confidence in himself."
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Suarez was slowed earlier this month by a minor groin injury, but Kapler said Suarez is fine. The Phillies needed a starter for Thursday because of Sunday's doubleheader. Baseball America ranked Suarez earlier this month as the team's seventh-best prospect.
"He was really fun to watch and the guys liked playing behind him. He just had a lot of intangibles," double-A manager Greg Legg said. "A really good change-up and his fastball sits surprisingly at 92-93, in and out, great command, slider is improving. He has a ton of confidence and he has a poise you can't teach. It's something the really good pitchers have."
Jerad Eickhoff will throw against hitters on Saturday in Clearwater, Fla. as he continues to work his way back from nerve irritation that caused finger numbness. "We're probably not looking beyond him just feeling good, executing all of his pitches, and then making a plan. Because that's really the first step. Before we can even make plans, he has to be capable of contributing. He's had a real challenge here. We want to protect him and put in the best position to succeed," Kapler said. … Shortstop J.P. Crawford, out with a fractured left hand, will report Thursday to Clearwater to resume baseball activities. … Righthander Drew Anderson was promoted and Yacksel Rios was demoted to triple A. … Jake Arrieta will start Wednesday afternoon's series finale.