It would appear that Pat Neshek’s second stint with the Philadelphia Phillies is over.
Per Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM, the Phillies declined the $7 million option they had on Neshek for 2020 Thursday.
Neshek, 39, inked a two-year/$16.25 million free-agent contract with the Phillies in December of 2017. A shoulder strain kept him from making his 2018 season debut until early July, though it’s worth noting that he was effective when he pitched in 2018, as he posted a 2.59 ERA in 30 games. That said, injuries became a running theme during his contract, and he ultimately was limited to just 20 games in 2019, posting a 5.00 ERA for a bullpen that was devastated by injuries.
The 13-year major league veteran also drew quite a bit of criticism from Phillies fans and pundits for often being unwilling to pitch on consecutive days.
Neshek’s first stint with the Phillies, in 2017, was much more fruitful than his second. In 43 appearances for the team in 2017, Neshek posted a 1.12 ERA and 1.94 FIP. He was the team’s lone All-Star Game representative that July. The Phillies traded him to the Colorado Rockies before the July 31 trade deadline in 2017, netting themselves relief pitching prospect J.D. Hammer, who posted a 3.79 ERA in 20 games in 2019.
Hector Neris, Jose Alvarez and Ranger Suarez appear to be pretty safe bets to be part of the Phillies Opening Day bullpen in 2020. Seranthony Dominguez and Adam Morgan would be as well, though it’s unclear where either stands physically at this moment. Neshek, Tommy Hunter and Juan Nicasio will all likely depart in free-agency, assuming each elects to continue their respective careers. The Phillies have decisions to make in the coming days and weeks on the futures of Jared Hughes, Blake Parker and Mike Morin, all of whom were acquired during the 2019 season. David Robertson had Tommy John Surgery in August, so if he pitches in 2020, it won’t be until late in the season.
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