“I’ve just been looking down at this every couple of minutes,” Suter said while eyeing his jersey. “Like, it’s real. It’s real. It’s a dream come true.
“I’ve got chills, baby. Goosebumps.”
Suter, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal earlier this month, interacted with Reds fans and discussed the excitement of returning home. The 34-year-old left-handed relief pitcher is a 2008 Moeller High School graduate.
Suter spent seven seasons with Milwaukee before pitching for Colorado last year. He’s 40-22 with a 3.49 ERA in 253 appearances, including 41 starts in his major league career.
Suter went 4-3 with a 3.33 ERA and had 55 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings for the Rockies in 2023.
“Being able to play at home this year — hopefully for the next couple years — it’s just an absolute pinnacle of a dream being a big-league ball player,” Suter said. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Suter said Monday night that the significance of playing for the Reds will go beyond simply stepping foot at Great American Ball Park.
“There’s so much to it — being with my family, my kiddos, first and foremost,” said Suter, an Anderson Township resident. “Being able to have my family and friends go to any game they want to go to is just super special.”
Suter will report with pitchers and catchers on Feb. 14 in Goodyear, Ariz., and the Reds’ first full-squad spring training workout is on Feb. 19.
Cincinnati opens the season at Great American Ball Park against the Washington Nationals on March 28.
“It’s an unofficial holiday for Cincinnati,” Suter said of Opening Day. “Knowing how special it is, being a part of it and doing the parade — it’s a crazy atmosphere that I’m looking forward to so much. I get chills talking about it. It brings Cincinnati together so much more than any other event of the year.”
A winning team
Suter recalled when the Rockies came to Cincinnati last season during the Reds’ 12-game winning streak — which included a Cincinnati sweep of Colorado during that span.
“They just beat us in every facet of the game. They swept us,” Suter said. “You could feel the city absolutely fall in love with the team. It was probably one of the best atmospheres we played in all year.”
He mentioned Joey Votto’s return to the Reds’ lineup after a 10-month absence that followed surgery. Votto hit a home run in his first game back — against the Rockies.
“My ears were exploding it was so electric,” Suter said. “I remember looking at my wife after that series and was like, ‘If it works out with free agency to come to Cincinnati and playing with this team and playing at home — let’s do it.’ Being able to be a part of a winning team — a young team that is so electric. The city has fallen so in love with them. The city’s on fire for Reds baseball.”
“I want to be a part of the clubhouse. It just seems so electric,” Suter said. “So many guys that are playing for each other. There’s a resilience there. (Reds manager) David Bell and his staff are doing a good job of steering the ship.
“I just want to do what I can to help the Reds win this year and bring a ring back to Cincinnati. That would be the ultimate.”
The Reds Caravan’s Central Tour stop in Hamilton on Monday also included appearances from broadcasters John Sadak and Brian Giesenschlag, minor leaguers Jay Allen II, Chase Petty and Edwin Arroyo, Vice President of Player Development Shawn Pender, former player Corky Miller and mascot Mr. Redlegs.
Fans asked questions and brought up topics that ranged from bunting to free agency to player favorites.
“I’ve always heard of the Reds Caravan growing up. I never got to be at one of the stops,” Suter said. “They invited me, and I was like, ‘Uh, yeah. Absolutely. I’ll move everything I can around to be a part of this.’”