Angels Manager Phil Nevin Expecting More From José Suarez
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have leaned on their starting pitching to take a bulk of the work this season, and so far they’ve been mostly effective. But the struggles of José Suarez are concerning for manager Phil Nevin after four collectively difficult starts for the young lefty.

With a record of 15-13 in the American League West, the Angels sit behind both the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers, who are atop the division. Ongoing bullpen hiccups and some games that have gotten away from starters could have the club in a better spot record-wise.

Suarez joined the Angels at a rather young age after debuting in 2019 at age-21, but with some other solid options behind him, manager Phil Nevin and the front office are at an odd point with the lefty, via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:

After Monday’s game, manager Phil Nevin was asked where the Angels go from here with Suarez.

“That’s a conversation we’re gonna have to have to be quite honest,” Nevin said. “We were thin [in the bullpen tonight], I had to run [Suarez] as long as I could.”

Suarez has failed to reach the sixth inning in all of his starts this season, and with a 7.89 ERA, he’s put the rest of the staff in a tough spot each time he toes the rubber. The Angels have Griffin Canning, Tucker Davidson, and top pitching prospect Chase Silseth in Triple-A who could all provide more quality innings if they go in another direction:

“He’s too talented. He works too hard, and he’s come so far,” Nevin said. “I’ve gone on and on about how we feel about him and the things he’s done. It’s just right now it’s gotta get better.”

Suarez finally had a bit of a rebound on Sunday when he pitched five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Although it appears as if the Angels won’t commit to shifting away from Suarez, putting the offense and pitching staff in a losing spot each outing is doing more harm than good. He will need more starts like he had against the Brewers if he wants to stick in the rotation for the long haul.

Perry Minasian and Phil Nevin trust catching spot in Logan O’Hoppe’s absence

With Logan O’Hoppe out for the foreseeable future with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, the Angels will rely on a catching tandem that consists of Matt Thaiss and Chad Wallach until veteran Max Stassi is activated off the IL.

Minasian voiced his confidence in their young catchers and believes the pair is capable of holding down the fort in Nevin’s lineup.

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