Washington Nationals: Wander Suero a reliever to watch at Syracuse
By Ricky Keeler
Up at Triple-A Syracuse, reliever Wander Suero is continuing his strong 2016 season in the Washington Nationals organization
The Washington Nationals bullpen has gotten better over the last month or so that there aren’t as many people calling for the team to call up relievers from Triple-A Syracuse. However, that doesn’t mean good performances at Syracuse shouldn’t be recognized. One name that has flown under the radar in the Nats minor league system is Wander Suero.
Suero was promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Syracuse back on June 2. While with the Senators, the 25-year-old right-hander had a 1.96 ERA in 18 games and had ten saves in 11 chances. As a reliever, you have to throw strikes and Suero did that with 23 strikeouts to just five walks in those games.
It’s only been three appearances with the Chiefs, but Suero has continued that success from Double-A. He had two strikeouts in each of his first two outings and has yet to give up a run. In fact, the last time Suero gave up an earned run in an outing was May 8 against Erie.
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Back in 2010, the Nats signed Suero as a minor league free agent out of the Dominican Republic. In each of the last two spring trainings, Suero has been in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee. He has yet to make the 40-man roster, but you’ve had to make a good impression if you are a non-roster invite two consecutive years.
After one of his relief outings with the Senators, manager Matt LeCroy told Mick Reinhard of The Island Chronicles about what has been the key to Suero’s successful season so far:
"“The biggest thing is he is throwing more strikes and getting ahead of more hitters,” LeCroy said. “That breaking ball is nasty, but he’s got to be able to get ahead to use it. That’s what he’s been doing.”"
When he does get ahead of hitters, the strikeout numbers tend to follow when you have that nasty breaking ball. After having just 48 strikeouts all of last season with Harrisburg, Suero has 27 total strikeouts in 21 games this year and has given up only two home runs.
You won’t find Suero on any of the Washington Nationals top prospects lists, but he has two or more strikeouts in five of his last ten appearances and most of those were one inning or less. With Austin Adams back healthy, those two could be a good late-inning combination in the Chiefs bullpen.
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He may not get a call up this year, but Suero is a name to monitor since he’s been in big league camp and has been productive in the minor leagues this year. When you do that, you never know when that call-up might come.