Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Season recap: Pat Neshek

I don't think fans realize how much of a stud Pat Neshek was last season. In 43 games, he had a 2.1 bWAR. Because it's a cumulative stat, it's hard for a relief pitcher - particularly in the modern game - to get that high of a WAR number.
Consider these are the highest career WAR of all time for relief pitchers.

Dennis Eckersley - 63.0
Mariano Rivera - 57.1
Hoyt Wilhelm - 47.3
Rich Gossage - 42.0
Tom Gordon - 35.3

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at outfielder Cam Perkins. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

So, who was the last Phillies relief pitcher to accumulate 2.1 WAR in a season. 
Was it Hector Neris, who pitched in 80 games in 2016?
Was it fireballer Ken Giles in 2015?
No and no. It was Jonathan Papelbon, who had 2.8 WAR in 2014. But he was a closer. What about a non-closing relief pitcher.
Ryan Madsen had to have pulled it off in 2008, right? J.C. Romero? No and no. You have to go all the way back to Geoff Geary's efficient 2007 campaign. Did you forget about that? When he tossed 91 innings, allowing just 6 home runs and 20 walks.

Yeah, Neshek was pretty special.
The good news is he's back. And he wasn't just good last season. In the past six seasons, he has a 2.50 ERA, a 3.23 FIP, a .971 WHIP and a 4.68 strikeout to walk ratio.