Astros utilityman Marwin Gonzalez homered in his fifth consecutive start on Thursday, belting a solo home run in the fourth inning of a 10-4 loss to the Rangers. He got the start in left field and later moved to right field.
Gonzalez homered on April 27 against the Indians, when he started at second base. His next start, on the 30th against the Athletics, he homered as a third baseman. On May 2 versus the Rangers, he drilled two homers as a left fielder. And yesterday, he homered in his start at first base.
After Thursday’s action, Gonzalez is batting .266/.368/.719 with nine home runs, 21 RBI, 11 runs scored, and two stolen bases in 78 plate appearances. That, along with his playing five different positions, has made him quite valuable to the Astros.
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.