Neris agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the Phillies on Thursday, avoiding arbitration, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. After being the team's primary closer in 2017, Neris struggled to the tune of a 5.10 ERA and lost the ninth-inning role. He found success in the majors after returning from a tune-up at Triple-A, posting a 2.04 ERA and a 35:5 K:BB in 17.2 innings. Even if he isn't getting save opportunities in 2019, his good strikeout numbers could offer some value in deeper leagues.
Neris struck out two during a perfect ninth inning to secure the save in Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Mets. The save was Neris' 11th of the season and first since June 16, as he responded from allowing three runs while recording only one out in Monday's game. The 27-year-old appears to have worked his way back into a higher-leverage role for the Phillies as the regular season reaches it's final stages.
Neris pitched a scoreless seventh inning Sunday against the Blue Jays, striking out three while allowing just one hit. Neris was deservedly sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in mid-June after an awful start to the season, but he's been dominant since his mid-August return. In 6.2 innings, he hasn't allowed a single run and has given up just three hits and a walk. He's been untouchable, striking out an incredible 62.5 percent of batters faced. Pat Neshek seems to be the one with the inside track on the closer job while Seranthony Dominguez struggles, but Neris has had success in the role in the past and is pitching like one of the best relievers in baseball in recent weeks, let alone the best on the team. It wouldn't be a stretch to see him back in the role in which he started the season at some point in September.
Neris struck out the side in a perfect sixth inning during the Phillies' 24-4 loss to the Mets in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader. Neris was brought back to Philadelphia on Tuesday and has had a pair of strong outings, facing a combined five batters and retiring them all, with four strikeouts and a flyout. He had posted an ugly 6.90 ERA in 30 innings earlier in the season with the Phillies but recorded a strong 1.62 ERA in 16.2 innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, so he may well have corrected whatever flaw was causing his earlier struggles. He has the pedigree of a former closer, with 38 career saves, and it's not impossible that he could work his way back into a high-leverage role should he continue to impress.
Neris was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic Philadelphia reports. Neris is set to rejoin the Phillies after spending a little more than a month in the minors ironing out some issues after an ugly start to the major-league campaign (6.90 ERA, 1.53 WHIP through 30 innings). The reliever looks to have righted the ship in the minors, posting a 1.62 ERA and 29:6 K:BB across 16.2 innings with the IronPigs before being summoned back to the majors. He'll likely be utilized in lower-leverage situations at first, but the former closer could work his way back to a higher-leverage role if he proves himself early on. J.P. Crawford was optioned to Lehigh Valley in a corresponding roster move.