Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Veteran Arm: 2017 Player Preview for Pat Neshak

One of the Phillies' biggest problems last season was an inconsistent bullpen. They took a huge step in addressing that need on Nov. 4 when they acquired right-hander Pat Neshak for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The former All-Star was coming off of a season that saw him pitch 47 innings over 60 games. The Astros offered him up in a salary dump despite him giving up a 3.06 ERA, 3.68 FIP, .936 WHIP and 8.2 whiffs against 2.1 walks per nine innings.

As we continue our series previewing the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies, we take our first look at the bullpen. Our last installment in the series looked at Professional Hitter Howie Kendrick. This post will look at how Neshak will solidify the Phillies bullpen.

How bad  was it?

The Phillies had nine pitchers who appeared in 25 or more games last season. They were Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, David Hernandez, Edubray Ramos, Andrew Bailey, Elvis Araujo, Severino Gonzalez, Brett Oberholtzer  and Michael Mariot.

The pitchers who had an ERA below 3.00: Neris.
The pitchers who had an ERA below 4.00: Neris, Ramos, Hernandez
The pitchers who had an ERA below 4.50: Neris, Ramos, Hernandez
The pitchers who had an ERA below 5.00: Neris Ramos, Hernandez, Gomez, Oberholtzer.
The pitchers who had WHIPs below 1.200: Neris, Ramos
The pitchers who had WHIPs below 1.400: Neris, Ramos, Gonzalez
The pitchers who walked fewer than 3 batters per nine innings pitched: Gomez, Ramos, Gonzalez.
The pitchers who walked more than 4 batters per nine innings pitched: Bailey, Araujo, Mariot.

This was bad.
Aside from Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos, the bullpen put up some awful numbers. Now, Gomez' numbers are severly skewed by a terrible final 6 weeks of the season. Prior to that he was slightly below All-Star in output.

What has changed?

Hernandez, Gonzalez, Oberholtzer and Bailey are no longer with us. Godspeed, boys. We'll raise a glass to freedom.
Mariot is likely going to be in the minor leagues.

Gomez and Neris should be valuable parts of the bullpen. Ramos and Araujo have some promise.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have added two stable arms to the pen: Joaquin Benoit and Neshak.

In the past five years, Neshak has put up a 2.75 ERA, 3.68 FIP and 1.000 WHIP. That's a nice mix to add to the bullpen.

His numbers from last year would have put him second among bullpen regulars in ERA, fourth in FIP and first in WHIP.

Think about what that would have meant to the team last year. Of course, we can't expect a 36-year-old to put up the same numbers. Say he drops 15 percent. Hits a 3.51 ERA, 4.10 FIP and a 1.100 WHIP, he'd probably be one of the three best pitchers in the bullpen.

That means he, Gomez, Neris and Benoit can eat up a ton of the team's stressful innings and let Ramos and Araujo continue to develop.


GM-Carson said...

Jared Hughes just released by Pirates. Quality reliever that could be nice waiver claim. To hell with Luis Garcia.

ripjgarcia said...

I just looked at the roster. Who is this Jesmuel Valentin fellow?

Pat said...

Former Dodgers first rounder the Ruben swiped from LA in the Roberto Hernandez trade.
He then got in trouble for domestic abuse.
Talent-wise, he seems like a Mariano Duncan/Jose Vidro type. Could be a guy who has an 8-12 year career in the bigs.
I have trouble getting over the domestic abuse stuff, though.