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Neris’ hot return garners NL Reliever of the Month honors

Hector Neris
Hector Neris used his time with Lehigh Valley wisely and rediscovered his slider. He was recalled on August 14, 2018 and named the NL Reliever of the Month for August. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Pursell)

Hector Neris used his demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to rebuild his slider and his confidence. The right-hander showed with a dominating stint with the IronPigs that he was ready to return to the majors and the Phillies brought him back on August 14th. With Lehigh Valley, Neris was 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and one save in 19 relief appearances. He also struck out 31 batters in 18 2/3 innings. He finished his stint at Triple-A with 8 2/3 scoreless innings during which time he whiffed 14 batters.

While he rejoined the Phillies half-way through August, he still made 10 relief appearances and allowed just three hits and two walks in nine innings, striking out 20 batters. His 62.5-percent strikeout rate is the highest among all major league pitchers who faced at least 30 batters in the month of August. On the season, he is 1-3 with a 5.31 ERA and 10 saves and just over 14 strikeouts per nine innings.

Neris walked a tightrope last season to save 26 games for the Phillies and lost his closer’s role this season when he struggled early in the year.

 

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