Neshek picked up his first save by recording the final two outs Monday against the Angels. The Astros saw a seven-run lead in the ninth dwindle to three after Tony Sipp gave up a grand slam to Gregorio Petit, but Neshek managed to record the final two batters in order to finish the game. While Neshek has been solid of late, he hasn't done enough to pass Will Harris (0.57 ERA in 31.2 innings) in the bullpen pecking order.
Neshek has a 1.46 ERA in 15 relief appearances for the Astros since May 1 after compiling a 5.14 ERA in April. Through 25 appearances in 2016, Neshek has a 2.79 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 18:6 K:BB over 19.1 innings. Most recently, the 35-year-old recorded two quick outs on only three pitches during Wednesday's win over the Rangers.
Neshek threw one inning in Sunday's loss to the Rangers, during which he gave up two runs, bringing his ERA up to 3.95. Despite a dominant 0.73 WHIP and .146 opponent batting average, Neshek has struggled to keep opponents from scoring. This is largely due to his inability to keep batters from hitting the long ball. Of the seven hits Neshek has allowed this season, four have been home runs, resulting in a 2.6 HR/9.
Neshek has appeared in six games out of the bullpen for the Astros this season, allowing just two base runners (a solo home run and a walk) while striking out six over 4.1 innings. The veteran reliever was called upon frequently last year, as his 66 appearances were second-most by an Astros pitcher in 2015 behind Will Harris (68). Neshek figures to get plenty of usage again this season serving as the bridge to Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson.
Neshek (foot) worked around two hits in a scoreless inning against the Mets on Saturday. He underwent surgery in late November to repair a foot injury, but has not been limited in any significant way so far in camp. Neshek was able to keep a run off his ledger Saturday thanks in large part to a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play. While Neshek is well behind Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson in the pecking order for saves, he should once again be a viable option in leagues that count holds.