Someone hit one of the Pirates’ team buses while it was heading back from Ft. Myers to Bradenton on I-75 yesterday. Not major, and Dejan Kovacevic makes a point of noting that the bus didn’t have any players on it.
Good to hear everyone is OK, but really, it may have been worse that it was the non-player bus was hit. Why? Because that team employee who was up in the press box when I was there last week was probably on the bus that was involved in an accident. Most of the Pittsburgh roster is replaceable, but that guy is seven shades of awesome. If he was hurt the wheels might fall off.
The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.
It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.
Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.