Paul Maholm had an ugly afternoon against the White Sox, surrendering a first-pitch grand slam to Alex Rios in the third inning, then exiting with an arm injury in the fourth inning after putting the first two batters he faced on base. David O’Brien points out that Maholm pointed to his lower left arm before leaving the field with a trainer with what the Braves official Twitter says is a sprained left wrist. David Carpenter replaced him and allowed both inherited runners to score along with two more of his own, putting the White Sox up 9-4.
Charged with seven runs over three innings, Maholm’s ERA jumped up to 4.41. He had started the season quite well, carrying a 3.38 ERA through his first ten starts. In his most recent ten, however, his ERA is 5.53 counting today. With Brandon Beachy nearing a return, Maholm’s rotation spot may be in jeopardy.
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.