Byron Buxton hasn’t yet been able to establish himself as a major league hitter, but boy howdy he has shown that he can flash the leather.
Take this catch in yesterday’s game against the Indians. It came off of Carlos Santana‘s bat and had the gap written all over it. Buxton broke immediately and covered some serious, serious ground to get there. And then he leaped and slammed into the wall to snag it, losing his glasses and his cap. Most guys would’ve lost the ball:
The most impressive part of that, in my view, are the strides. Just watch him going for that ball. It’s like he was gliding above the surface of the grass. Absolutely beautiful.
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.