Ranger Suárez exits game early due to injury

Ranger SuárezJ.T. Realmuto
Philadelphia Phillies’ Ranger Suárez, right, and J.T. Realmuto, left, walk off the field after Suárez was hit by a ball from St. Louis Cardinals’ Alec Burleson during the second inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher, left-hander Ranger Suárez, started Saturday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was forced to leave the game after taking a line drive off the hand, exiting with what the team officially called a “left-hand contusion.”

Ranger would hang in there and make the out at first to end the inning. You could see him wincing in pain immediately after being struck by the 106.1 MPH liner, and he went down the tunnel with an athletic trainer as soon as he entered the dugout.

Before exiting, Suárez struck out 2 while not allowing a batter to reach base. He would be replaced by José Ruiz, who pitched one inning before turning the game over to Spencer Turnbull who went three innings. He struck out six and threw a first-pitch strike to nine of the ten batters he faced – a huge improvement from his last few outings in relief where he allowed an earned run in four straight appearances.

After starting the year in the rotation before a move to the bullpen, Turnbull is the most likely candidate to step in for Ranger should he require a trip to the injured list.

Ranger Suarez Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies’ Ranger Suárez, right, throws to first base for an out after he was hit by a ball from St. Louis Cardinals’ Alec Burleson during the second inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Ranger’s World

The Phillies’ lefty was second in the majors in ERA entering today, tied for No. 1 in WHIP, and second in opponent batting average. If he were to miss time, it would hurt – but the Phillies rotation has been the best in baseball, and they have the depth that a lot of other teams would beg for. As a starter, Turnbull turned in a 2-0 record with a 1.67 ERA across six starts.

Speaking to the media postgame, Thomson gave an update on Ranger’s status:

X-rays negative, there’s some swelling in [lower] part of his hand. We have to wait a couple days for the swelling to go down to see if he can grip a ball.

Ranger was tentatively scheduled to pitch in next weekend’s series when the Phillies travel to London to take on the Mets in a two-game stint. Just like all good-laid plans, they’re subject to change. Nothing has changed yet, but he will be reevaluated in the next few days and they will decide whether Turnbull will take his turn in the rotation. Still, with negative x-rays, the Phillies avoided what could’ve been a major blow to their rotation.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)