Remember last week when Bill Plaschke and Scott Miller freaked out about Don Mattingly not benching Yasiel Puig for longer than he did? About how this will lead to his ruination and how his benefits as a player could be outweighed by his attitude and on-field gaffes?
Well, since the Puig benching he has hit .292/.333/.625 with a couple of homers. That includes last night’s game when he fell a triple short of the cycle. The Dodgers are 5-2 during that stretch.
No, that’s not his June-July pace, but no one could expect that to be kept up regardless. What it is is a fine performance for a rookie — or for everyone — over a seven day period which does not suggest a guy who has gone crazy with ego and power. He’s just a ballplayer playing ball.
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.