‘Had to choke back some tears:’ Brewers’ Brent Suter calls debut after surgery ‘really special’
MILWAUKEE — A season-ending injury sent a member of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff from the mound to the bench, but after a year of rehab and work, Brent Suter was back on the mound for the Brew Crew Monday, Sept. 2.
On July 31, 2018, Suter had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, ending his 2018 season prematurely.
“Nothing like my debut, or anything like that, but there was definitely heightened adrenaline, and a lot of fun emotions going on out there,” said Suter of his 2019 debut. “I had to choke back some tears when everyone was standing for me, but definitely some nerves, yeah, too.”
Filled with no shortage of nervous energy, Suter returned to the mound as a relief pitcher in Game 1 of the series against the Houston Astros.
“It was a really special moment with the fans, my teammates, standing up and applauding for me,” said Suter. “I really appreciate that. Brewers fans are the best. Just to get back out there in a Major League game was really special.”
The road to recovery for Suter after surgery was a long one.
“It was definitely crushing news at the doctor appointment, but from then on, it was a really good process of seeing myself as, maybe not just as a baseball player, but kind of a good human experience type of thing, so it made me stronger,” said Suter. “I think it’s gonna make me a better pitcher in the long run.”
In 20 appearances in 2018, Suter held a 4.44 ERA, and with his 2019 debut in the books, his work moving forward was set to move at a cautious pace.
“It’s gonna be very structured, how we use him,” said Craig Counsell, Brewers manager. “There will be rules, basically.”
Even if getting back to his old self on the mound might take some time, his teammates said having Suter’s personality back in the clubhouse was priceless.
“Some guys call me the mascot,” said Suter. “I just try to bring fun energy every day, and sometimes it’s a little too much, but I like to try and keep things light, and try to remind myself and everyone that it’s a game we’re planning, and we’re blessed to play it.”
Suter said he was hopeful his return would mark just the start of fall baseball for the Brewers.
“With all the things this team has had to deal with, the injuries and all that, to be in this position with a chance in September is all you can ask for,” said Suter. “So looking to contribute any way I can, and make an amazing run like we did last year.”