By Jack Ryan
Pat Neshek’s first half for the Phillies was so good — 38 appearances, 1.27 ERA — it landed him a spot in tonight’s All-Star game.
“It’s been one of those years where I feel there’s a lot more in store,” he told MLB.com. “I think something really good is going to happen. Let’s top it off with a World Series. You never know.”
“My family loves it there,” he said of Philly. “We’ve lost 23 one-run games. If we win half of those, we’re right in the thick of things.
“There’s a lot of good brewing in Philly. Whether I’m there or not, I think there’s a lot of good things coming.”
He’s a free agent after the season, and his 0.91 WHIP is the kind of dazzling number that makes him a hot commodity at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
When the Phillies acquired him from the Astros last offseason, he knew the guessing game was that he would be a trade chip to acquire a prospect.
“It’s nice,” he said. “I’ve had really good years before. I can see where teams could need a guy like me.”
He’s had an up and down career:
Seven organizations and undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008. He was waived once. He was sold once.
He also made the NL All-Star team for the Cardinals in 2014 and landed a nice three-year, $18.5 million deal with the Astros after that season. Now 36, he has learned to appreciate the ride.
“In 2007, I was in the running for the final five to get onto the All-Star team,” he said. “And then I had Tommy John. That’s when you don’t know if you’ll ever get a shot again.
“My velocity wasn’t there when I came back, and I was toiling up and down in Triple-A and the big leagues. You go, ‘Well, that was a fun run.’ I got a shot with the A’s in 2012 and have done pretty well since. I don’t take it for granted. It’s been a strange road.”