SARASOTA, Fla. -- If you remember Phillies left-hander Ranger Suárez from last season, then you remember nothing seems to faze him.
So, yes, Suárez believes he will be ready to pitch effectively on April 11 at Citizens Bank Park, where he is scheduled to face the Mets in his first start of the season. Suárez, who entered camp behind schedule because of visa issues, made his first start of the spring on Friday afternoon in a 3-2 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. He allowed two runs on two hits (one home run) and two walks in two innings. He struck out three.
He threw about 35 pitches.
“For the first time, I thought it was good,” Suárez said through the Phillies’ interpreter. “Just need to keep throwing to be ready.”
Suárez is scheduled to make his second and final spring start on Wednesday against the Rays. He could throw 50-55 pitches then. He said it will be all he needs.
“I have plenty of confidence in myself, and I think I’ll be 100 percent,” Suárez said.
Bohm has been working with hitting coach Kevin Long on shortening his stride at the plate. Long is a big believer in getting into the hitting position as quickly as possible, especially with so many pitchers throwing hard today.
“That was why he got 14 at-bats in the last two days [at Carpenter Complex],” manager Joe Girardi said about Bohm. “Because you’ve got to feel it, right? You can do it in the cage. You can do it under controlled circumstances, but you’ve got to feel it in a game, and it looked better today. He has a good swing, right? And we believe he’s really going to hit. It’s just, clean up a few things. It happens. It happens to hitters who’ve had a lot of success over time. Sometimes they get a little off, and you’ve got to clean them up.”
Asked when he could see the Phillies finalizing their Opening Day roster, Girardi said, “I could see it going all the way until Wednesday. I really could.”
Falter, Nelson put up zeros
Look for Bailey Falter and Nick Nelson to be important pieces of the bullpen early with Suárez and Zack Wheeler expected to be limited. Falter allowed one hit and struck out one in three scoreless innings. Nelson allowed one hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings.
Each pitcher has a 1.29 ERA this spring.
The Phillies acquired Nelson and catcher Donny Sands in a November trade with the Yankees.
“He’s thrown strikes,” Girardi said about Nelson. “He has as good a changeup as anyone in the game. For him, strikes are important. His fastball, he’s thrown strikes. He’s even thrown a few with his curveball. His curveball is pretty good. He just hasn’t used it a lot.”