The Los Angeles Angels dug themselves into an early hole they could not get out of against the Oakland Athletics on Monday as José Suarez turned in a fourth consecutive rough outing to begin his 2023 campaign.
The left-hander allowed seven runs on eight hits in five innings of work against a bottom-five offense and saw his numbers for the year continue to balloon. He now owns an 0-1 record, 10.26 ERA, 8.98 FIP and 2.28 WHIP in 16.2 innings pitched this season.
Angels manager Phil Nevin reiterated that Suarez needs to improve but won’t remove from the starting rotation at this point, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“It’s been four starts, I just don’t think that’s enough to yank somebody out of a job,” Nevin said on Tuesday. “I understand we’re three, four weeks into the season. There’s a shorter leash certainly. He needs to get better. He knows that. Right now I feel like he is still our best option when he’s right. And we’ve got to get him right. That’s part of our jobs.”
Nevin does not believe a move to the bullpen would benefit Suarez and hopes he can bounce back in his next start:
“I’m just not ready to move him out (to the bullpen),” Nevin said. “I don’t think it’s as productive for him to go out there. I gotta be honest. Right now we’re kind of start to start with him. I think he knows that. It’s not a scare tactic or anything like that. We all know the situation and he knows it. We’ve got to get better.”
Suarez acknowledged he has pitched poorly so far but couldn’t pinpoint what the issue is. He logged 15 whiffs on Monday but has struggled to strike out batters and miss barrels this season.
Furthermore, Suarez ranks in the bottom 1% in wOBA and is allowing his highest hard-hit rate over the past two season.
Angels not worried about left-handed heavy rotation
Suarez is part of a left-handed heavy Angels rotation that includes Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers and Patrick Sandoval to go along with Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian recently discussed the group and is not considered about the staff having more southpaws than right-handers.
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