Just as the famous Queen song goes, another one bites the dust as the Phillies have found themselves without yet another starting pitcher.
Ba duh dum dum dum, and another one bites the dust.
The Phillies announced on Sunday afternoon that Ranger Suarez has been placed on the 15-day Injured List with a lower back spasm. The move, retroactive to June 30th. Suarez was just coming off a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves in which his allowed all four runs in 6.2 innings of work. While Suarez has not been the best starting pitcher on the staff, he has yielded a respectable 4.33 ERA on the season over 15 starts.
Assuming this back spasm is nothing too serious, Suarez should be able to return to the Phillies’ rotation when first eligible on Friday, July 15th in Miami. With two off days in the mix between now and then, Suarez would miss two scheduled starts. Eflin, meanwhile, is dealing with right knee soreness and could return as early as June 11th.
Lack of Depth Shining Through
Suarez now joins an ever-growing list of Phillies on the Injured List including fellow rotation-mate Zach Eflin. Out of the Phillies’ original rotation, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have held down the fort. Meanwhile, Kyle Gibson has been atrocious as of late, allowing 11 runs over 6.2 innings in his last two starts, including a six-run performance on Saturday versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, GIbson owns a 4.91 ERA on the season.
With what amounts to be two and a half starting pitchers on the roster, the Phillies have relied on Bailey Falter to step in already for the injured Eflin. Most recently, Falter lasted 4.0 innings against the Cardinals on Friday, allowing three runs on five hits. While Falter can service as a temporary stop-gap for one of the two injured starting pitchers, he cannot fill in for both nor should he currently serve as a starting pitcher on a team fighting for their first playoff berth since 2011.
While the Phillies could potentially make do with their reserve of young impressionable arms in Falter, Cristopher Sanchez, and Mark Appel to cover the spread, these are not games the Phillies can afford to loss coming up. With three against the Nationals and another series against the Cardinals, the Phillies will need to continue pressing on if they want a chance at a Wild Card spot come October.
Whether it be some waiver wire workings or a larger trade, if Dave Dombrowski wants the Phillies to be playing in October, they need additional starting pitcher depth immediately.
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