Pat Neshek – Philadelphia Phillies
A journeyman reliever who is on his sixth team since 2010, Pat Neshek is in the midst of a career year with the Philadelphia Phillies.
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Armed with a thoroughly deceptive delivery, Neshek has been a force in the Phillies bullpen. In his 28 games spanning 26 innings, he has posted a 0.69 ERA and a 0.808 WHiP, with 23 strikeouts and just four walks.
The biggest knock on Neshek over his career has been his performance against lefties, as he has essentially been a right handed specialist. However, he has improved in that regard, holding lefties to an impressive .189/.225/.270 batting line. This difference this season against lefties has been an increased reliance on his sinker, which he has thrown 61.29% of the time against left handed hitters. Meanwhile, lefties have a meager .143 batting average against that pitch.
Neshek may not be that option for the eighth inning, but he is a solid middle reliever who can get those key outs in sixth or seventh. He may even be able to serve as a second weapon against lefties, especially if this new found success with his sinker continues. It may not be conventional, but the Rays have never been a team that follows the norm.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a couple of holes in the bullpen. As the trade deadline gets ever closer, they may be able to fill those areas without much difficulty.