Who will replace Hector Neris as the Phillies’ closer?
After over a decade in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, Hector Neris is headed to the Houston Astros on a pricey two-year, $17M deal.
The Astros and Phillies open the 2022 season against each other in Houston, so the Phillies will see their former closer again soon. They’ll bring a former Astro with them, as they recently claimed pitcher Kent Emanuel off waivers from Neris’ new team.
The Phillies signed Neris in 2010, and he made his big-league debut in 2014. Over eight seasons, he compiled a 3.42 ERA and 520 strikeouts across 407 2/3 innings.
However, Neris had an extremely up-and-down 2021 season, with his ERA soaring and falling each month. He was a key part of the Phillies bullpen tying the all-time record for blown saves in a single season: 34, as set by the 2004 Colorado Rockies.
Over 74 appearances, Neris posted a 3.63 ERA, closed 29 games, and earned 12 saves. He became the franchise leader in strikeouts by a reliever. However, he also blew seven saves and tied the franchise record for career blown saves by a Phillie, and his total season ERA masks extreme inconsistency.
Here’s the month-by-month breakdown:
April (13 games): 1.54 ERA
May (11 games): 2.38 ERA
June (9 games): 8.22 ERA
July (11 games): 6.94 ERA
August (15 games): 0.61 ERA
September/Oct (15 games): 4.15 ERA
Phillies president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, said earlier this month that the club was hoping to bring Neris back, just not as their closer. They have their eyes on expensive prizes, including Craig Kimbrel, Mychal Givens, and Kenley Jansen.
Let’s take a look at three closers the Phillies have been tied to recently…