Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’17 — #35 Brent Suter
That’s 35 days for the mathletes at home. We’re creeping ever closer to Opening Day at Miller Park. The Brewers have three Cactus League games under their belt now, including a win today at Surprise Stadium against a split Texas Rangers squad.
One man who isn’t yet certain where his Spring Training will lead him once camp breaks is today’s “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” subject…
For some time now, the Milwaukee Brewers have had a severe lack of left-handed pitching, particularly in the starting rotation where they hadn’t had a southpaw begin a game on the mound since August 28, 2013 prior to Brent Suter ending that drought in 2016. It was a span of 474 games. There are 162 games in a season.
It was reported earlier this spring training that Suter has an opportunity to make the team this year in the bullpen. Suter has spent time both starting and relieving and has the typical position of not really caring which role he fills so long as he can help the team win. That said, if Suter does not make the team, he might very well continue starting games in the minor leagues. It doesn’t hurt to have another option and it’s typically easier to relieve if you’ve been starting than the other way around.
For his mind, manager Craig Counsell has said in the past that it’s not just handedness that makes a good relief pitcher. There certainly have been occasions during his time in the big chair where having a lefty to match up against some fearsome slugger has come in handy late in games and no doubt there will be more. Suter could fill that role.
In 2016, Suter got his first taste of the big leagues. He ended up pitching in 14 games (including those two starts) and posted a 3.32 ERA in 21.2 innings. Suter allowed three home runs and five walks while striking out 15 of the 91 batters he faced. It was a strong, if truncated, debut for the currently 27-year-old native of Chicago.
As mentioned, Suter is in camp vying for a big league bullpen job this year. He did start the “bullpen game” Cactus League opener in Tempe against the Angels, for what it’s worth, and will likely continue to prepare as a starting pitcher in case he finds himself in Colorado Springs to begin the regular season.
His stuff plays at the big league level though, and that’s something he can build off of and continue to get better.
Follow Brent on Twitter: @bruter24
Looking to catch up on this season’s BBtJN? Just click on a name below:
#59 Carlos Torres
#57 Chase Anderson
#56 Ryan Webb
#54 Michael Blazek
#53 Jhan Mariñez
#52 Jimmy Nelson
#51 Damien Magnifico
#50 Jacob Barnes
#47 Jett Bandy
#46 Corey Knebel
#45 Tyler Cravy
#41 Junior Guerra
#38 Wily Peralta
#37 Neftalí Feliz