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.