Over the winter, the Phillies signed two veteran relievers to bolster the back end of their bullpen. Just before the season opened, Tommy Hunter went on the DL with a hamstring injury. On Opening Day, it was disclosed that Pat Neshek was unavailable because of what was termed a “mild” right lat strain. Before the Phillies would take the field for game number-two of the 2018 season, Neshek joined Hunter on the DL. Now, there is concern that his injury could be something more than mild.
Much of the concern comes from Neshek himself, who said he has felt “a little bit different” since pitching in his final spring training game. He threw a bullpen session after that and still didn’t feel quite right. The Phillies had him as unavailable for the opener and then made the move to place him on the DL and replace him with reliever Yacksel Rios on the 25-man roster.
Neshek told Matt Breen of Philly.com that the injury is “kind of weirding me out a little bit.” Neshek noted that he has never dealt with an injury like this and is worried about how it’s going to progress. He believes that if needed, he could pitch, but the Phillies aren’t going to risk anything and will see how he responds to treatment.
For their part, the Phillies aren’t discussing any concerns about how the injury may affect Neshek long-term and are simply calling the injury a shoulder strain. Neshek and Hunter signed for a combined $34.25-million last December.
Rios, 24, pitched in 13 games with the Phillies last season and posted a 1-0 mark with a 4.41 ERA. he struck out 17 hitters in 16 1/3 innings, but walked nine batters.