By Jack Ryan
As the Tampa Bay Rays and other contending teams look to make upgrades before the trade deadline, Fox maven Ken Rosenthal notes interest in Phillies all-star reliever Pat Neshek:
The 37 year old is putting together a very good season for Phillies, possibly the best of his career. Neshek has put up a 1.21 ERA and 2.10 FIP. His 29.0% strikeout rate is his highest since 2006 and his 3.6% walk rate is his lowest of his career. The big difference in results has been Neshek’s ability to avoid homers this year with a 5.0% HR/FB rate that is roughly half of what he has allowed in his career. The year is very similar to his 2014 season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Neshek has shown very little split this year allowing a .233 wOBA to left handed bats and a .236 wOBA to right handed bats.
Neshek has been a quality right handed option out of the bullpen most years since 2011. He’s generally been much better against right handed bats, so he wouldn’t fill the need of an arm that is effective against left handed bats.
Neshek is in the final year of his contract paying him $6.5MM in 2017. He doesn’t have the track record of many others on the market, but he’s put up the best results this year.
A 2002 draftee, Neshek had been traded to the Phillies from the Astros this past off-season. A side arm pitcher who relies on a sinker/slider arsenal, he would give the Rays a different look coming out of the bullpen.