Each season in Major League Baseball is currently scheduled to last for 162 games. This means that the Philadelphia Phillies (30-21) will reach the 1/3 pole with their home game on Tuesday night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Over the next few days, I’ll be handing out the report cards for the first “trimester” of the season for each player on the Phillies 2019 roster. There will be a letter grade, along with a brief description of their contributions, including their relevant statistics.
I’ll be back with each player’s grades for the second trimester and the season to that point when the Phillies reach the 108-game mark. That is scheduled to come on July 31, the same date as the MLB trade deadline.
FIRST TRIMESTER GRADE: C
STATS: 19 games, 0-1 record, 3 Saves, 4.67 ERA, 1.327 WHIP, 22 hits allowed including four home runs over 17.1 innings with a 9/1 K:BB ratio.
REPORT: Neshek started off strong, going unscored upon in seven of his first eight outings. Ironically, in the one game that he did surrender a run, he earned his first Save of the season on April 8 at home against the Nationals. He then gave up a pair at Coors Field, for which there is no shame considering that environment.
After that appearance against the Rockies, Neshek shut down the opposition in six of his next eight outings. It was his final appearance of the season to this point that really blew up his stats. He surrendered three earned runs by getting drilled for a pair of homers by the Cubs during the Phillies 9-7 series finale win at Wrigley Field.
And then, injury struck. It was described in this manner by Matt Breen of Philly.com:
“He appeared troubled Friday when he walked off the field as the rest of the pitchers were throwing on the field before batting practice. Neshek talked to bullpen coach Jim Gott, grabbed his shoulder, and returned to the clubhouse. He was examined by a Brewers physician before flying to Philadelphia for further testing.”
It’s very reasonable to suspect that the shoulder was not 100% during Thursday’s appearance. Neshek has been placed on the Injured List, will be examined further, and there is no current timetable for his return. However, he did miss the first half of last season with shoulder trouble, so this could be a significant period of time spent out of the bullpen mix.
A solid, veteran, Neshek is not a dominating pitcher. But his experience and success over parts of 13 big-league seasons made him a valuable piece to manager Gabe Kapler‘s relief pitcher corps. Though he would experience a “hiccup” outing every so often, he was normally a reliable option. His loss further depletes what was already a unit suffering greatly under the weight of repeated injuries.
Give us your feedback. Respond either as a comment to this piece or at our social media feeds. What is your take on him to this point? What, if anything, would you do differently regarding this player or their role if you were the Phillies manager or GM?
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- 2019 first trimester report card: Nick Pivetta
- 2019 first trimester report card: Nick Williams
- Phillies bats, bullpen power them past the host Brewers in series opener
- At end of a tumultuous week, Pat Neshek is headed to the Injured List
- Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner recently scouted by Phillies