Phillies 2019 season preview: Relief pitcher Hector Neris

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Hector Neris #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the ninth inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Hector Neris #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the ninth inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 01: Hector Neris #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 1, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 01: Hector Neris #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 1, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Projections for Neris in 2019

Every pitcher in their career has a step-back moment, where they are forced to evaluate themselves and make adjustments. After that, they either make the adjustments and survive a little longer, or they see an end to their career. Neris proved that he could make the adjustments and survive, which is what I anticipate seeing from him in 2019. His workload will decrease, but I believe that will make his effectiveness that much greater.

More from That Balls Outta Here

In terms of stats, here’s how I see Neris’ 2019 going: 65 innings, a 2.80 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 25 walks. I believe he’ll cut down his home runs allowed to just seven, and allow a batting average against of .210.

I really enjoy watching Neris pitch. And I believe that he can regain the form he had in 2016-2017. The key to that is controlling his split, which is his best pitch. If he can throw that for strikes, it will set up the rest of his arsenal, including his lively fastball upstairs. I also think that he learned from his wake-up call after going down to Triple-A in the middle of the season. Some guys just need time to figure their stuff out.

His bounce back at the end of the season showed me that he has the resolve to be a leader in this bullpen.

Next. Phillies still in on Dallas Keuchel for short-term. dark

Look for Hector Neris to be among the league leaders in strikeouts-per-nine innings again in 2019, as he finished fifth-last season. When his fastball-splitter combo is working well, there is little opposing hitters can do.