The 26-year-old Suero grimaced after throwing his second pitch in the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 8-5 win over the Mets on Thursday. Catcher Pedro Severino immediately jogged out to him and signaled to the dugout. Manager Dave Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard then appeared. Within a few seconds, Suero was walking off the field. After the game, Martinez said Suero “complained of tightness in his left side.” That description indicates a potential oblique problem. Martinez said an MRI hadn’t been scheduled, but Suero would be reevaluated.
Earlier in the week, Martinez praised Suero. He called his cutter “unbelievable” and noted he was beginning to accumulate confidence. That cutter, Suero explained, was the fuel for his breakout last season. He always boasted one. It came naturally. Commanding it didn’t come as easy. Last year, he explained, that changed.
“That was my success,” Suero said. “I could control it and locate it low in the zone and all that.”
Suero faced 267 batters in 65 1/3 innings last season and surrendered just three home runs. He posted a 1.07 WHIP and struck out nine batters per nine innings. He performed like a player worthy of a shot at the majors. Barring injury, he should get his chance in 2018.
DAYS UNTIL OPENING DAY: 20