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.
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.