Phillies reliever Tommy Hunter is working his way towards his 2018 debut, throwing a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment in Reading.
The Phillies spent over $36 million on relief pitchers this offseason and so far have not received one inning for that money. Hopefully, they may finally be getting something for that money soon.
Tommy Hunter made his second rehab appearance Friday night. He threw a shutout seventh inning for Double-A Reading. He struck out two batters, setting down the side in order.
Hunter worked a full count to all three New Hampshire Fisher Cats he faced. His fastball sat in the 93-94 mph range, hitting 95 on the gun once.
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In Hunter’s first rehab appearance with Clearwater Tuesday night, he threw 1.1 innings. He allowed one hit and one walk but recorded one strikeout.
Manager Pat Neshek said prior to Hunter’s first rehab start that he will likely need multiple rehab outings before coming back to the team. There has been no indication if Hunter will make another rehab appearance or if he will soon return to the team.
Hunter has not pitched yet this year due to a strained hamstring. Pat Neshek, the other reliever signed in free agency this year, has also not pitched due to a shoulder strain. Hunter’s issue popped up during spring training, but Neshek’s only came up after the first game of the season.
Philadelphia signed Neshek and Hunter during the offseason to bolster their young bullpen. Without them there, they have had to rely on others to fill in the gaps.
One surprising player to emerge this season in Hunter and Neshek’s places has been Victor Arano. He has retired all 25 batters he has faced this year, striking out 10 in 8.1 innings. With him on board, it has kept the bullpen afloat without Nesek and Hunter there.