This Surprising Reliever Is The New Longest Tenured Milwaukee Brewers Player
By John Egan
After Ryan Braun played his final game with the Milwaukee Brewers at the end of the 2020 season, a fun stat opened up for the team. Braun had been with the Crew for 14 seasons. After he didn’t return, folks needed to know who the longest tenured player on the team was.
With Braun no longer there and lots of roster turnover the last half a decade, it wasn’t as easy as you think. That title went to Manny Pina. He was traded to the Brewers in December of 2015 and been on the team’s roster in some capacity since August 1, 2016, which put him one day ahead of Orlando Arcia.
He quickly became a clubhouse and fan favorite. He will be known for singing “Hotel California” in the locker room, starting the “Tiger Claws” trend during the 2021 season and creating heroics during Mother’s Day games. Not to mention a fantastic player and catcher.
But now, Pina will no longer be on the roster. He signed a two-year, $8MM deal with the team that knocked Milwaukee out of the playoffs and won the World Series, the Atlanta Braves. That means the Brewers will now need another catcher, and a new longest tenured player.
That role now goes to a very special player for Milwaukee. The Raptor himself, the starting pitcher turned reliever, Brent Suter now holds the title of longest tenured member of the Brewers.
Suter will only hit the five year mark this season for service time with the Brewers. That goes to show how rare players like Ryan Braun and Joey Votto are for their teams. There is a lot of turnover on baseball rosters, and Milwaukee is no different
It’s actually crazy to think that Josh Hader is right behind Suter. It feels like players such as Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain have been on the team forever. When in reality, it’s been less than four years.
Suter made his debut on August 19th, 2016. Suter started that game against the Seattle Mariners. He went 4.1 innings and unfortunately took the loss. He gave up seven hits, four runs and two home runs with two strikeouts. He would pitch two more times that season in relief, and even picked up his first win his second ever outing on the mound.
Over 142 games, Suter sits at a 3.46 career ERA, 39 starts and a record of 31-16. He has one save to his name, 328 innings pitched and 285 strikeouts. His current career WHIP is 1.21. While debuting as primarily a starting pitcher, Suter has converted to being a specialty relief pitcher or bullpen day starter. That changed after he had Tommy John surgery in July of 2018 on his left elbow.
Suter’s first career home run was in 2018 before his injury. He actually hit it off of Corey Kluber, who was on the Cleveland Indians at the time. Suter also got the start in the 2020 playoffs when the team was plagued by injuries. The game and series was a disaster overall, but Suter can still claim he started an MLB playoff game.
His 2021 stats were solid. He had a 3.07 ERA, a 12-5 record, 69 strikeouts and led baseball with 12 relief wins. He was even nicknamed “The Vulture” by teammates because he would “vulture” wins when he came in as a reliever. It’s a good sign when you not only have one, but two fun nicknames as a player.
Suter quickly became a fan and team favorite with his infectious personality. He would star in the Spring Training videos, playing Jim Carrey as Lloyd from “Dumb & Dumber” and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc from “Back to the Future”. I just realized he has played two Lloyds technically. Brent is also known for starting his infamous “Lo Cain” chant in the dugout.
The Raptor also does a lot off the field for Milwaukee. He has been nominated for the Roberto Clemente award two years in a row, which recognizes players for their character both on and off the field.
Suter was an environmental science major at Harvard, and has used his platform as a player to try and help the environment. He has partnered with environmental causes such as the American Conservation Coalition Campus, and The Nature Conservancy. He’s an ambassador for Players for the Planet, and even helped create exclusive environmental programs at UW schools.
In 2021, Suter also teamed up with S.C Johnson for a “Save the Oceans” campaign. For every save the team got, $1K would be donated to environmental causes. The team ended up with 44 saves total, so $44K went to help protect the Earth. The second longest tenured Brewer, Hader, had 34 of those saves. Basically, Josh Hader is Captain Planet.
Suter will be entering his third year of arbitration this off-season. He signed a two-year, $2.5MM deal for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
He is estimated to make around $2.5MM this season, and won’t be a free agent until 2024 and will turn 34-years-old. Hopefully, he will be sticking around longer than that and continue retain his tenured title.