Pat Neshek, who has yet to pitch this season, will likely be out for the rest of May after he suffered a right elbow injury earlier this week during a pregame bullpen session.
Neshek has been on the disabled list all season with a shoulder strain. That injury is healed, manager Gabe Kapler said. But now Neshek’s elbow has flared up. Kapler said Neshek has a mild strain of his flexor tendon. He will not throw again for at least another week.
In December, the Phillies signed Neshek to a two-year contract worth $16 million and planned to use him as key piece of their bullpen. He said last week that he planned to be activated from the disabled list next week when the Phillies travel to St. Louis. His setback will likely keep him out until June.
“I’ll have a better feel in a week,” Kapler said. “Right now, we just want Shack to feel his best. … He’s been working his [butt] off for a long time to get ready to make an impact in our bullpen. He’s an integral part of everything we’re doing around here. I think everyone on the team loves him as a dude and thinks he’s going to be big for us this season and for the next couple.”
The Phillies spent $34 million on the same day to sign Neshek and Tommy Hunter. Both pitchers started the season on the disabled list. Hunter returned on April 22 and made his eighth appearance on Tuesday night. The bullpen has survived without Neshek, who was the team’s lone all-star last season before being traded to Colorado. Before Wednesday’s game, the Phillies bullpen had stranded 33 of the last 37 inherited runners for the best rate in the majors.
Hoskins gets a rest
Kapler left Rhys Hoskins out of the starting lineup for just the second time this season. Hoskins entered Wednesday with just five hits in his last 39 at-bats. A respite seemed welcomed.
“We want to give everybody a blow occasionally and just feel this is the right time for Rhys to have a recovery day,” Kapler said. “I think Rhys is one of the best offensive players in baseball. It’s painful to not have him in the lineup. Every day I figure out different ways to think positively about all the cool things that Rhys is doing and what he’s done so far in his career. When his stats from last year and this combined flash up on the scoreboard, I’m in awe. He is among the game’s best offensive producers. He’ll be right back in there tomorrow and every game going forward.”
Actually, Hoskins pinch-hit for pitcher Yacksel Ríos in the Phillies six-run sixth inning and got an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
Adam Morgan (lower back strain) played catch Wednesday afternoon and said he felt fine. He expects to return from the disabled list when he is eligible next week. … Vince Velasquez starts Thursday afternoon against Giants lefthander Ty Blach. The game will be televised exclusively on Facebook. … The Phillies will face Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard on Saturday and Jacob deGrom on Sunday.