Colorado Rockies add much-needed left-handed reliever
Ahead of Friday’s non-tender deadline in Major League Baseball, the Colorado Rockies picked up left-handed pitcher Brent Suter off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Suter, 33, has been a big-league Brewers for seven years, initially drafted by Milwaukee in 2012’s 31st round. Suter has served various roles, starting games at points and being more of a long-man earlier in his career to now exclusive bullpen work last year. Suter has been essential for the Brew Crew’s bullpen for years, though. He’s both eaten low-leverage innings, been a left-handed specialist and even finished games.
He threw in 54 games last season, tallying a 3.78 ERA over 66.2 innings of work. Suter may be on the decline, with his strikeout rate topping at 29.5% in 2020 before dropping to 22% in 2021 and 19.5% this past year. His walk rate has also doubled over the last two seasons. This is coming at a time where’s he is back from Tommy John surgery in September 2019; overall, he’s worked 190 innings with a 3.08 ERA and 3.79 FIP since the operation.
Some positive stats are seen in his ability to keep the ball from being hard hit. His hard hit rate was in the 96th percentile of MLB, and his average exit velocity was in the 95th, which is funny considering he throws the fifth-slowest fastball on average in the sport.
So why did the Brewers let a capable lefty go? They have 18 players arbitration eligible and play in a market smaller than Denver, forcing them to make tough money decisions.
Suter made $2.7 million last season and should make around $3 million in 2023 once the Rockies come to terms with the pitcher.
The Rockies surely like that the Harvard grad, who is very environmentally conscious, keeps the ball from getting roped. The Rockies badly needed a left-handed reliever, and he should fill the role.