Should Hector Neris come back to the Phillies in 2022?
Neris is signed to a one-year deal worth $5 million, so his total and utter collapse midway through the spring isn’t a costly loss, though it remains baffling.
In April, he had a 1.54 ERA and five saves over 13 games, and in May, was still solid with a 2.38 ERA and four saves over 11 games. But in June, he fell apart, and his ERA exploded to 8.22 over nine appearances. He improved slightly in July, though a 6.94 ERA over 11 games is hardly impressive.
In August, Neris suddenly returned to form better than before, posting a 0.61 ERA over 15 appearances.
Confused? Us too.
Neris made his debut with the Phillies in 2014, though his true debut season came the following year, as he only pitched once that first season. His best years were 2017 and 2019, when he posted a 3.01 and 2.93 ERA, respectively. In each of those seasons, he earned 26 or more saves, setting a career-high in 2019.
Despite his abysmal June and July, his early and recent dominance will even out his overall stat line for the season. However, Neris is on the leaderboards for blown saves, tied for second with seven, as of Sunday. He’s already tied a franchise record, and if he had been allowed to continue in the closer role throughout the summer, that number would likely be higher.
Even the best players struggle throughout the long and arduous MLB season, but Neris’ drastic change isn’t something that inspires confidence for the future, even though he has been excellent lately.
Neris is one of