ROBERT Alexander SUAREZ
Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   PADRES
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   R
Weight: 210 Throws:   R
DOB: 3/1/1991 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 75  
Birth City: Bolivar, Venezuela
Draft: 2021 - Padres - International free agent (NPB)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2021 JAP Hanshin-5 yrs.   191 205 168 209 70 0 0 0   7 13   2.81
2022 PCL EL PASO   3 3 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0   9.00
2022 AZL ACL   1 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2022 NL PADRES $6,000.00 7 9 7 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.219 3.00
2023 PCL EL PASO   2 1.2 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0   16.20
2023 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   1 0.2 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0   13.50
2023 AZL ACL   3 2.2 4 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   6.75
2023 NL PADRES   26 27.2 15 24 10 0 0 0 0 4 3 0.155 4.23
2024 NL PADRES   29 29.2 18 28 6 0 0 0 17 4 1 0.173 1.21
Today's Game Notes
  • June 3, 2024: Robert Suárez has been named the National League Reliever of the Month for May. The 33-year-old right-hander was tremendous in May, posting a 0.73 ERA, a 0.57 WHIP, and allowing just a .136 average. He gave up just one earned run in 12.1 relief innings, and notched seven saves.

     

Personal
  • April 16, 2015: The Saraperos de Saltillo signed free agent RHP Robert Suarez.

  • 2016-2021: Suarez pitched in Japan for those six seasons. Suarez throws hard and compiled an impressive 1.16 ERA in 2021. He didn’t allow a homer and permitted just 6 unintentional walks across 229 batters faced.

  • Aug 23, 2023: Padres setup man Robert Suarez was ejected from San Diego's 4-0 win over Miami after he was inspected for a foreign substance prior to his entrance in the eighth inning at Petco Park.

    Suarez, who later contended that he was only using the regular amount of sunscreen that he uses during all day games, was subject to a routine check just behind the mound prior to throwing his warmup pitches. Umpires inspected both his throwing hand and his glove hand before the right-hander was ejected by crew chief Todd Tichenor.

    “We were doing a routine spot check for a foreign substance,” Tichenor said in a pool report. “He was observed to have a sticky substance on his glove-hand side. All four of us got together, and we deemed that it was too sticky, and he was ejected from the game.” Suarez said he was surprised by the ejection and that he hadn’t used any foreign substances, which can be used to help increase spin on pitches.

    “Like any day game, I put on some sunscreen, and that’s what they saw,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “That’s what led to their decision to eject me from the game. I definitely don’t use any illegal substance, any banned substance at all.”

    An ejection for use of a foreign substance comes with a 10-game suspension, with players given the right to appeal. If the suspension holds, the Padres would be limited to 25 players for the duration of the suspension. Suarez has not yet determined whether he plans to appeal. "I'm just going to explore my options, see what options I have, and go from there," Suarez said. (AJ Cassavell - MLB.com - Aug 23, 2023)

  • Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations, announced the decision.

    “It’s just defending myself, in terms that I didn't use any single foreign substance,” Suarez said through an interpreter, of his decision to appeal. “My point is, I wasn’t using anything illegal. They contend that it was something, but from my point of view, from what I did, nothing was wrong.” (T Stebbins - MLB.com - Aug 25, 2023)

    Sept 11, 2023:  Suarez reinstated from suspended list. Suarez contended it was sunscreen and initially appealed the ruling before dropping that appeal several days later. 

  • June 3, 2024: Robert Suarez, SD, NL Reliever of the Month

    Suarez has had an outstanding season as the Padres’ new closer in place of Hader, who left as a free agent in the offseason to sign with the Astros. The righty converted all seven of his save chances in May and finished the month with a 0.73 ERA, 13 strikeouts and one walk over 12 1/3 innings. (T Harrigan - MLB.com - June 3, 2024)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • April 16, 2015: The Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League signed free agent RHP Robert Suarez.

  • 2016-2021: Suarez pitched in Japan for six seasons.

  • December 1, 2021: The Padres signed free agent RHP Robert Suarez to a two-year, $11 million contract, via scout A.J. Preller.

  • Nov. 7, 2022: Suarez became a free agent as he opted out of his $5 million contract for 2023.

  • Nov 10, 2022: Right-hander Robert Suarez has agreed to a five-year deal to remain in San Diego. The deal is worth $46 million over the duration of the contract and features a player opt-out after the first three years.
Pitching
  • Suarez has an imposing presence on the mound and aggressively goes after hitters with his plus-plus FASTBALL. His fastball lives at 96-97 mph and touches 101 with late explosion and ride, and he throws it in all quadrants of the strike zone. Suarez developed an 88-92 mph split-CHANGEUP in Japan that flashes plus and has become his go-to secondary offering. He relied on a short, tilting SLIDER early in his career, but it’s now mostly a chase pitch.

    Robert attacks the strike zone with plus control. (Jeff Sanders - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2022)

  • 2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Fastball 46% - 98 mph; Change 20.5% - 89.4 mph; Sinker 19.5% - 97 mph; Cutter 9% - 94.6 mph; Curve 4% - Slider 1% - 87 mph.

  • 2021 Season: Stats: 1-1, 1.16 ERA, 42 saves, 58 strikeouts, 8 walks, 0.77 WHIP, 62 1/3 innings (62 appearances)

    Far from a traditional prospect, Suarez’s deal with the Padres ($5 million in 2022 and a $5 million player option in 2023) is his first foray into affiliated ball. He’d pitched in the Mexican League at age 24 in 2015 (1.71 ERA, 48 strikeouts, 0.95 WHIP, 47 1/3 innings) before shifting his career to Japan.

    The 2021 season was his best as he set career-bests in hits per nine innings (5.8), strikeouts per walks (7.25), ERA (1.17) and WHIP (0.77). On top of that, of the 40 hits allowed to the 229 batters he faced with Hanshin, not one left the yard. The formula added up to an NPB-best 42 saves. A riding, 100-101 mph fastball is the standout tool, but Suarez also boasts plus control and a plus split-change that has overtaken the slider as his primary secondary pitch.  (Jeff Sanders - Feb 23, 2022)

  • 2022 Season: Suarez wasn’t just a 31-year-old rookie this year; he was a 31-year-old making his affiliated ball debut after blossoming into a dominant reliever in Japan. He gave up three runs without recording an out in his major league debut, then pitched to a 1.70 ERA and 3.03 FIP the rest of the season, earning a setup role in front of Josh Hader in a solid San Diego bullpen.

    Suarez relies most frequently on his four-seamer, and it’s easy to see why. He pairs top-flight velocity – he averaged 98 mph last year – with solid movement, targeting the top of the zone for swings and misses. He mostly complements it with a changeup that approaches 90 mph, with a smattering of cutters (vs. righties) and curveballs. He also throws a sinker that’s really more of a variation on his four-seamer; few sinkers in baseball fall less on their flight home, and the pitch is essentially a four-seamer that trades a few inches of vertical ride for horizontal movement.

    That package is pretty close to the modern reliever starter kit, but with one key twist. He struck out 31.9% of the batters he faced in 2022 but had the same issues — home runs and walks, more or less — that most four-seam-dominant relievers do. The twist is that his sinker got a ton of grounders and didn’t allow a single extra-base hit all year. I don’t think that performance will repeat – he didn’t throw a ton and probably won’t allow a .167 BABIP on it again. But the extra wrinkle definitely helped. In the playoffs, he threw his sinker a third of the time, twice as frequently as his changeup.  (Ben Clemens - Nov 14, 2022)

  • 2023 Season: Regular Season Statistics

    0 fWAR, 26 G, 27.2 IP, 4.23 ERA, 0.904 WHIP, 24 K, 10 BB, 4 HR, 0 HBP

    Positives From This Season

    Robert Suarez took a little bit of time to get back to being the guy we saw last year but he still earned 20 scoreless appearances in 2023. The velocity was still good, and he looked closer-caliber especially when he came back from his suspension. Opponents hit .128 off of him in the month of September.

    Negatives From This Season

    Obviously, the biggest disappointment was that he wasn’t available for the first 3.5 months of the season due to right elbow inflammation. The Padres bullpen was fine early on but then Suarez’s absence definitely became noticeable when San Diego was losing too many one-run games in the summer.

    His absence made it more of a bummer when we saw later in the year that Suarez was able to pitch more than three outs because that means he could’ve been used in even more situations if he was healthy in the first half of the season. The Padres missed out on the postseason by a couple of games, so Suarez’s health was one of the many What-Ifs of their 2023 season.

    In 2024, the 32-year-old will be going into the second year of his five-year, $46 million contract. (Ben Fadden@BenFaddenSD - Oct 13, 2023)

Career Injury Report
  • 2017: Suarez missed the entire season after having Tommy John surgery.

  • June 7-Aug 6, 2022: Robert was on the IL with right knee inflammation.

  • March 30-July 20, 2023: Robert was on the IL with right elbow inflammation.