As we continue to inch closer to the offseason, the Los Angeles Angels will make decisions as to how they plan on constructing their roster ahead of the 2024 season. Obviously a lot of those decisions will depend on what Shohei Ohtani decides to do, but a decision regarding the future of players who are arbitration-eligible will have to come earlier.
Some obvious tender candidates include guys like Taylor Ward, Luis Rengifo, Patrick Sandoval, and Griffin Canning. Others that the team will have a harder time deciding between are Jose Quijada who is missing substantial time after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, and Jose Suarez.
I can see both sides of the argument as to whether the Angels should keep or non-tender Jose Suarez.
The LA Angels should keep Jose Suarez around in hopes that he bounces back
There's a reason Jose Suarez was guaranteed a rotation spot in 2023. He impressed the season prior, and really turned it on in that second half. In 11 second half starts, Jose Suarez posted a 2.81 ERA in 64 innings pitched.
Suarez went at least five innings in all 11 starts after struggling to give length in the first half, and he allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his starts. He wound up allowing two runs or fewer in seven of those starts. He was consistently pouring in quality outings for an Angels team that needed it.
Of course, there're other factors that were in play during his successful run in the rotation. First, the quality of competition wasn't good at all. He had starts against several struggling teams in 2022 like the Rangers, Royals, Athletics, and Tigers. Additionally, he was making starts for an Angels team that was completely out of contention, lessening the pressure.
The southpaw had more pressure on him by being in the Angels Opening Day rotation and he struggled from the jump. He never looked comfortable and then missed substantial time due to injury. There's every reason to believe he's simply not cut out for it, but there're also reasons to believe he can bounce back and pitch more like the guy he was in the second half. The Angels don't need him to be an ace, but maybe he can work as a fifth starter.