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At long last, Ranger Suarez had the start I was waiting for.

I presumed it would happen last time out. He was finally stretched out enough to go lengths required of a starting pitcher and happened to be facing the bottom-feeding Diamondbacks. But he got singled to death, had some trouble finding the strike zone and ended up with a crooked stat line.

No, it took a meeting with the first-place Rays for him to achieve his final form, allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked just one, bringing his season line to this:

PHI Philadelphia • #55 • Age: 26
2021 season
ERA
1.46
WHIP
1.02
INN
61.2
BB
25
K
60

Just to keep things in perspective, I will note that the first 27 of his 32 appearances this year came in relief, where a pitcher's repertoire isn't tested to nearly the same degree. It's not uncommon for a reliever to lose something when stretched beyond an inning or two, if not stuff-wise then certainly stats-wise. 

And yet Suarez's velocity has held fairly steady. His ERA in his five starts is still only 2.14. The big test was whether he could do it over a full-length start, and for him to pass that test against the Rays of all teams is doubly impressive.

But it's 2021, right? We know better than to think ERA is predictive. Suarez's K/9 rate is only 8.8. That's barely passable these days.

Ah, but for a pitcher who succeeds mostly by putting the ball on the ground, it's outright stellar. Generally, they're pitch-to-contact types who succeed by avoiding the worst form of contact. In an era when runs are scored primarily by way of home runs, generating ground balls is a world-beating skill.

And few do it better than Suarez, whose 67.2 percent ground-ball rate would rank a distant first among qualifiers. Combined with a strikeout rate that's halfway respectable, you can understand how he's keeping runs off the board. It's the same formula that's worked for Framber Valdez

It doesn't mean Suarez can realistically sustain an ERA below 2.00, but it does mean he's legit enough to pick up in the 61 percent of CBS Sports leagues where he's still available.

Let's see who else you might consider adding ...

Possible waiver wire pickups
DET Detroit • #60 • Age: 23
ROSTERED
59%
2021 season
AVG
.262
HR
10
SB
14
OPS
.787
AB
305
K
90
Returning from a two-week absence for a concussion, Akil Baddoo was back to hitting leadoff for the Tigers on Tuesday. He had cut way down on his strikeouts in June and July, remember, and was beginning to emerge as a useful power/speed threat. There may be some growing pains to work through still, but as long as he's making contact at a reasonable rate, the skill set is enough for you to take another shot at him, particularly if he's filling a premium lineup spot.
BAL Baltimore • #25 • Age: 27
ROSTERED
57%
August 2021
AVG
.338
HR
7
OPS
1.055
AB
71
BB
2
K
17
Anthony Santander continued his monster August with four hits Tuesday, which came just two days after a two-homer game. Suddenly, he's looking like the guy we saw break through during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season -- one who we had since then all but concluded was a fluke. HIs fly-ball rate for this month (47.0%) looks much like it did then (49.6%), and he's been making higher-quality contact overall this year. He can't sustain his August pace, of course, but perhaps we were too quick to write him off.
SF San Francisco • #9 • Age: 34
ROSTERED
33%
Since returning from IL
AVG
.226
HR
8
OPS
1.026
AB
53
BB
7
K
14
I remember featuring Brandon Belt here the last time he had a big game, homering twice on Aug 7. Thing is he's had a grand total of eight hits since then, with half of them coming Tuesday night. Do his numbers for this month (see above) qualify as good or bad, then? The answer is yes. It all hinges on whether you had the foresight to start him on the only two days he mattered. Overall, I think Belt is still a quality hitter -- one capable of doing damage at home now as well as on the road -- but the Giants need to find at-bats for too many other players for him to play every day. Keep your expectations in check.
MIA Miami • #27 • Age: 24
ROSTERED
28%
2021 minors
ERA
2.93
WHIP
1.14
INN
61.1
BB
25
K
92
Edward Cabrera is set to make his debut Wednesday, which is an exciting development for a prospect who should have a bright future. He'll be facing the Nationals -- a matchup that should allow him to put his best foot forward -- but it's worth pointing out that he issued 5.8 BB/9 across six starts at Triple-A. He has wipeout stuff, highlighted by a sinking fastball that pushes triple digits and breaker that generates whiffs aplenty, but locating them has been enough of an issue that I'm somewhat skeptical his stay will be a lengthy one, especially with Trevor Rogers having just begun a rehab assignment.
HOU Houston • #6 • Age: 25
ROSTERED
17%
2021 season
AVG
.308
HR
3
OPS
.878
AB
52
BB
2
K
18
With Chas McCormick landing on the IL with a hand injury, Jake Meyers will get even longer to audition for the full-time center field job -- one he's passing with flying colors so far. The strikeout rate is too high but probably just a short-term condition given that making contact was always one of his strengths in the minors. He broke through in other ways there this year, batting .343 (93 for 271) with 16 homers, 10 steals and a 1.006 OPS, and the elite exit velocities he has produced in the majors so far suggest it wasn't a fluke. He still has a lot to prove, but you could see this one going really right.
WAS Washington • #29 • Age: 34
ROSTERED
8%
Since July 9
AVG
.304
HR
6
SB
3
OPS
.826
AB
158
K
39
At 33, Yadiel Hernandez may not have much of a future in the majors, but the Nationals have nowhere else to turn in the present. And so far, he's doing the same sort of things he did in Cuba nearly a decade ago, hitting line drives to all fields with a respectable strikeout rate and few fly-ball outs. It's an approach that's geared more for batting average than home runs, though he did manage to hit 33 of the latter at Triple-A two years ago. His current pace is more reasonable and sets him up to be sort of a poor man's Alex Verdugo to close out the season.