The Phillies welcomed Pat Neshek back from the injured list today, activating the veteran reliever from the 10-day IL after he missed three weeks due to rotator cuff inflammation. Cole Irvin was also called up from Triple-A for his third taste of MLB action this season, while the Phillies optioned Edgar Garcia and Ranger Suarez back to the minors to make roster space for Neshek and Irvin.
Neshek has a 4.67 ERA over 17 1/3 innings this season, though that number is a little deceptive. Neshek’s final outing before hitting the IL saw him allow three runs in just two-thirds of an inning, inflating what had been a respectable 3.24 ERA. Overall, Neshek has allowed runs in just five of his 19 appearances, though his K/9 sits at just 4.7, marking the second straight year that Neshek (whose career K/9 is 8.7) hasn’t missed many bats.
With one good bit of injury news in the form of Neshek’s return, the Phillies are hopeful of avoiding another IL stint after Jay Bruce had to leave last night’s game due to left hamstring tightness. Bruce is considered day-to-day, and the club believes the outfielder won’t need any time on the injured list, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The Phillies are short enough in the outfield as it is, though Bruce has been an incredible boon since being acquired from the Mariners on June 2. Bruce has already hit five homers and posted a .308/.341/.744 slash line over his first 41 plate appearances in a Phillies uniform.
Bryce Harper, Scott Kingery, and Nick Williams lined up right to left in Philadelphia’s outfield today against the Braves, with Brad Miller and Sean Rodriguez available as utility options off the bench. None of this group, not even Kingery, is a true center fielder, as the Phillies didn’t get Roman Quinn back from the IL this weekend as expected. Quinn has been limited to just seven games this season due to both an oblique strain suffered at the end of Spring Training, and then a groin strain that has sidelined him since April 25. According to Lauber, Quinn “felt discomfort” after being hit in the shoulder with a pitch on Friday during his Double-A rehab assignment, though Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters the latest setback isn’t thought to be serious.