Even with still being limited on his pitch counts and durability, Milwaukee Brewers left-handed pitcher Brent Suter has come back after Tommy John surgery and has become an integral part of the team’s bullpen. Suter’s return has helped provide a spark to the surging Brewers, who have now won 14 of their last 18 games and have won or tied their last six series.
Suter, who underwent TJS in 2018 and missed the rest of that season plus more than the first half in 2019, is not allowed to pitch in back-to-back games yet, per the orders of both the medical staff and the managerial staff, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. While his lack of durability can hinder this team a bit, his arm, experience, and professionalism will all make up for his lack of innings pitched down the stretch for this franchise.
He last pitched on Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres in the second game of the four-game set at Miller Park, notching his five-consecutive scoreless appearance. Being able to put Suter back in the bullpen gives manager Craig Counsell four left-handers to work with now, and everyone knows how he uses his bullpen, so having more tools at his disposal only makes this team that much more dangerous.
Besides Suter, fireballing veteran Drew Pomeranz, who has been an absolute revelation ever since he was traded to the Brewers from the San Francisco Giants, funky but effective delivery lefty Alex Claudio, who has pitched in what seems every single game for Milwaukee in 2019, and closer Josh Hader, who just set the franchise record for most saves recorded in one season by a southpaw after his save over the Friars on Thursday evening.
Suter, who was a mainstay in the team’s starting rotation before his injury, is well known for his quick and efficient appearances. With the pitch clock never a factor for the Harvard graduate, Suter is always set at the bump and waiting on the batter to ready himself in the box, forcing batters to calculate exactly when they would like to step out to try and throw Suter off of his routine.
Someone that can go multiple innings at a time, Suter is a very valuable piece to this team’s puzzle down the stretch, which is exactly when Counsell may very well pull out the final ace from his pocket, his ‘opener.’ Last season, lefty Dan Jennings filled that role in the regular season against their division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, as he came in to face Matt Carpenter and then left the game after only facing one batter.
With Suter’s health and performance looking like it is improving by the game, the Brewers are getting very close to being back at full health. With fellow starter Brandon Woodruff having made his return from an oblique injury and having started Tuesday’s game, this team treats the month of September like its own playground, and the teams that are both in the National League Wild Card race and the NL Central divisional race should all be very aware of where the Brewers are in the standings on a daily basis.