Phillies Replace Neshek With Pitcher They Traded Him For
The Phillies signed reliever Pat Neshek prior to the 2018 season to a two-year, $16 million deal. They knew Neshek well, having spent the first two-thirds of the 2017 season with the Phillies, one which he appeared as a National League All-Star. Then, Neshek was traded to the Colorado Rockies. Part of the trade return is set to join the Phillies, ironically to replace Neshek.J.D. Hammer:
Hammer came to the Phillies alongside infielder Jose Gomez and pitcher Alejandro Requeña.
Hammer was 2-0 with a 1.61 earned run average combined in 13 games for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils and one game for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Hammer has struck out 29 in 22 1/3 innings in the minor leagues thus far. Hammer is known for his lively arm.
To make room for Hammer, the Phillies placed reliever David Robertson on the 60-day Injured List. Robertson is not expected to pick up a baseball for weeks to come. Robertson was placed on the Injured List on April 15 with an "elbow flareup" which has yet to heal. After a visit to Dr. James Andrews, Robertson was instructed to shut down his arm for at least three weeks.
As for Neshek, the Phillies have called his diagnosis a "right shoulder strain". There is no timetable announced for his return just yet.
With Robertson, Neshek, and Tommy Hunter all on the injured list, $26.75 million of the Phillies bullpen payroll is on the Injured List. $28.625 million will count against the competitive balance tax threshold. The Phillies have just shy of $18,000,000 available under the threshold, commonly called the "luxury tax". Each time a player his the injured list, there is no relief; players added will also count.