Pat Neshek injury update: Phillies reliever starting rehab stint

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 25: Relief pitcher Pat Neshek
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 25: Relief pitcher Pat Neshek /

A major addition could be coming soon to the Phillies bullpen

Phillies veteran reliever Pat Neshek will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with High-A Clearwater. The 37-year-old set-up man has missed the entire 2018 season with injuries to his pitching shoulder and forearm muscle that date back to spring training.

Neshek originally went down with the shoulder strain prior to opening day in late March, but began throwing bullpen sessions in May. Philadelphia shut him down after he suffered a forearm strain the second week of May, and he’s had a handful of bullpen sessions since then.

No official timetable has been set for Neshek’s return, but if all goes well with his rehab assignment it’s possible he returns to the major league bullpen within the next two weeks.

Philadelphia brought Neshek back this winter on a two-year deal worth over $16 million with a club option for a third year.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

How Neshek performs could dictate general manager Matt Klentak’s aggressiveness at the trade deadline next month. Last year it was the Phillies who traded Neshek to Colorado for three prospects, but this year the tables have turned. Now Philadelphia is looking to add an arm for the bullpen, and potentially one that could be the long-term closer.

Philadelphia’s bullpen is in dire need of help having blown 10 saves and several of the arms having an ERA over four. Aside from Seranthony Dominguez and Edubray Ramos, who are now being overworked to compensate for the bullpen’s struggles, the arms haven’t been there in the last month.

Hector Neris, once viewed as the closer of the future, was sent to Lehigh Valley to clear his head, and the organization has bounced between 14 different relief pitchers, not counting utility hitters who have stepped in.

Additionally, Luis Garcia is on the disabled list with a wrist injury.

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Regardless, it will be great to see Neshek back on the mound for the Phillies. He was a diamond in the rough last year for the organization and his leadership and personality will only do good for the bullpen and clubhouse.