Neris’ wild 2018 season
This season has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for Phillies’ reliever Hector Neris. Neris broke camp as this team’s closer, but things didn’t go as planned. He finished March and April with five saves and a 3.27 ERA. That is when the trouble began. For the next two months, Neris’ ERA would climb from 3.27 to 6.75, and then to 11.17. That is when Neris was sent down to the minors to, “figure it out.” I would say it worked out well, today Neris was awarded the NL reliever of the month for August.
Hard work doesn't go unnoticed.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 4, 2018
August’s NL reliever of the month
Although the Phillies as a whole didn’t play well in the month of August, Neris was one of the best relievers in baseball. In 10 games, he allowed just three hits while striking out 20 batters and giving up no runs. As many fans have seen, this team has not been able to hold a lead late in the game. I talked about how Gabe Kapler should be riding Neris’ hot hand during the ninth inning of baseball games. It should be interesting to see if Kapler decides to give Neris his old role as closer for the final month of the season.
Hector Neris won NL Reliever of the Month. According to an MLB press release, he will, "receive a specially designed plaque, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments."
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 4, 2018
Projecting for the future
Like I said, I believe Kapler should be riding Neris‘ hot hand when it comes to the end of ball games. Obviously, I don’t like this is something that Neris can keep up for the remainder of the season. However, I do think he can provide this team with a better chance to shut the door in the ninth compared to some of the other guys in the pen. I don’t believe that this honor will get to his head. I think that when Neris got sent down to the minors, it was a wake-up call for him. His stuff is filthy and it deserves to be in a major league bullpen.