NEW YORK — The Phillies received good news on the status of Pat Neshek but they are still at least a month away from using their $16 million deliver in a game.
An MRI on Tuesday on Neshek’s right shoulder showed no serious damage, the Phillies said, as his discomfort is caused from inflammation. He will receive an anti-inflammatory injection this week and then be sidelined for two weeks. If all goes well, it will take another two weeks for Neshek to build himself back up.
He was placed on the disabled list after feeling discomfort in his shoulder before the first game of the season. Neshek said he never felt pain in the back of his shoulder and was afraid it might be something serious. The Phillies said “there doesn’t appear to be a serious injury.” His MRI results should bring some relief.
The Phillies missed Neshek and Tommy Hunter, the other reliever they signed in December who also started the season on the DL, during the first week of the season. Hunter, nagged by a hamstring injury, seems closer to returning after pitching Monday in Clearwater. He could be activated from the disabled list as early as Thursday.
Mark Leiter Jr. rejoined the Phillies on Wednesday after having an ultrasound on his right arm. His exam was “normal,” the team said, and Leiter will likely begin throwing during the upcoming homestand. He has been sidelined since spring training with a strained right flexor pronator. The Phillies expect the reliever to return in early May.
Nick Pivetta will start the home opener on Thursday against Miami lefthander Caleb Smith…Vince Velasquez will start Saturday before Jake Arrieta debuts on Sunday. Saturday’s game could be snowed out but that should not change Arrieta’s status…Hoby Milner did not pitch Wednesday, as he missed his first game of the season. An appearance would have made the lefthander the first Phillies pitcher to appear in each of the season’s first five games.