Non-tendered by the Washington Nationals in November, Wander Suero has found a new home in LA.
After spending his entire career with Washington, Wander Suero who was non-tendered by the Nats in November has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Once seen as a key piece of the Nationals bullpen, Suero had his moments, but was always held back by inconsistency. Signed by the Nats as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, he made his MLB debut in 2018, going 4-1, with a 3.59 ERA, 47 strikeouts, and a 3.47 FIP in 47 2/3 innings.
Suero showed he could hammer the strike zone with ease while limiting free passes (2.8 BB/9) and the longball (he only allowed four homers). Yet, he was unable to follow up on his early success. He took a step back in 2019, going 6-9, with a 4.54 ERA, 81 strikeouts, and a 3.07 FIP. After stranding 74.5% of runners in 2018, he stranded a measly 66.3% in 2019. Primarily used in either the seventh or eighth inning, he recorded 17 holds, but went an ugly 1/7 in save opportunities.
Despite his regular-season struggles, he was added to the Nationals playoff roster, but wasn’t used in any high leverage situations. He made four appearances, allowing one run across two innings while striking out two.
With a World Series ring in tow, Suero bounced back in 2020, posting a 3.80 ERA, with 28 strikeouts, and a 3.02 FIP in 23 2/3 innings. However, in 2021 the wheels fell off for the righty, going 2-3, with a 6.33 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and a 5.80 FIP.
A major problem stemmed from being unable to both limit hard contact and keep the ball in the park. After only allowing 10 homers from 2018-2020, he allowed a whopping 11 in 2021. He also allowed a career high 43.3% hard-hit percentage. Another issue was that he struggled to miss bats, posting his lowest K/9 (9.3) since 2018 when he finished with an 8.9.
Regardless of how things ended in D.C., Suero is only 30 and has multiple years of arbitration left. He just needs to limit the hard contact and keep the ball in the zone.