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June 02, 2024

Ranger Suárez 'a lot better' after injury scare, says Rob Thomson

Phillies manager Rob Thomson gave a positive update on the status of Ranger Suárez's throwing hand before Sunday night's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Ranger Suarez 6.2.24 John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports

Ranger Suárez, who exited Saturday's game after two innings after a line drive hit his throwing hand, appears to have avoided a major injury.

Phillies left-hander Ranger Suárez, currently the owner of baseball's best ERA among qualified starting pitchers, only recorded six outs on Saturday night before leaving the game after a line drive hit his throwing hand. The Phillies diagnosed Suárez with a left hand contusion, but Phillies manager Rob Thomson and Suárez himself indicated after the game that the injury was likely not going to cost him significant time -- perhaps one start.

While Thomson did not provide an update on whether Suárez will make his next start -- scheduled to be the second of two games the Phillies play against the New York Mets in London next weekend -- he did give an encouraging update on the National League Cy Young Award contender Sunday afternoon before the team's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"[Suárez is doing] a lot better," Thomson said in the home dugout. "The swelling is down."

Thomson said it may be another day or two before it is clear whether or not Suárez will be available to start on June 9 in London. But the southpaw known for his signature composure "really, really improved" in less than 24 hours, according to the Phillies' manager.

If Suárez is not able to make his next start, Thomson indicated he would hand the ball to right-hander Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull, signed to be a long reliever who could start games in a pinch, starred as the team's fifth starter for the first month of the season after Taijuan Walker was placed on the Injured List to begin 2024.

Turnbull has transitioned to the bullpen since Walker's return, and it has been a bit of a bumpy road for the 31-year-old righty adjusting to a role he has never held before -- Turnbull had never made a major-league appearance in relief before signing with the Phillies.

However, after Suárez's early exit on Saturday night, Turnbull was called upon for bulk innings and came through in a major way: Turnbull threw three scoreless and hitless innings -- only one runner reached base, and it was on an error. Turnbull struck out six of the 10 batters he faced.

Suárez missing his start in London remains a possibility, but that appears to be the worst possible scenario at this juncture. If he is indeed unavailable, Thomson's club has confidence in Turnbull to give them quality innings.

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