Phillies 2020 Season Player Grades: Hector Neris
Grading Phillies reliever Hector Neris’ 2020 season
The 2020 Philadelphia Phillies once again finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season. The offense, for the most part, did their job all season — ranking fifth in the Major Leagues in runs scored. The pitching, however, was abysmal — ranking 27th in ERA at 5.14.
Among their pitchers who disappointed — after a very productive 2019 season — was relief pitcher Hector Neris. Coming off a 28-save season with an ERA of 2.93, there was hope that Neris had found some consistency. After all, he had 26 saves and a 3.01 ERA in 2017, but plummeted to just 11 saves and an ERA of 5.01 in 2018. Unfortunately, the seesaw nature, which has defined Neris’ career, continued in 2020.
Neris began the season with three straight scoreless appearances with two saves. The wheels started coming off thereafter, allowing three earned runs in an inning and blowing a save opportunity in his next appearance. In fact, Neris would blow two more opportunities over the next four games, as his ERA climbed to a lofty 11.25.
The rollercoaster ride continued for Neris, this time in the right direction. He allowed only one earned run over his next 11 appearances, covering 10 innings, striking out 11. After a loss to the Mets on September 16, allowing a run on two hits in one inning, Neris had three consecutive scoreless appearances, bringing his ERA down under 4.
The very definition of how Neris has been was evident during his last appearance of the season. In 1 1/3 innings, he recorded all four outs on strikeouts. That appears to have been a fine outing, right? Not so much; he also allowed two earned runs and two hits in a 5-0 loss.
All told, Neris appeared in 24 games and finished with a 2-2 record, five saves in eight opportunities with an ERA of 4.57. In 21 2/3 innings, he struck out 27 and walked 13. One of the bright spots to Neris’ season was that he did not allow a home run.
The rollercoaster ride of a season was passable, but far from stellar. Neris will have to be much better in 2021. His grade for 2020 is a C-.