The Phillies received good news after righty Pat Neshek underwent an MRI, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweets. There’s some inflammation, as might have been expected given that he had identified an issue, but nothing more concerning than that. The expectation at this point, though, is that Neshek will remain on ice for “a couple more weeks” to allow things to calm down. Philadelphia has yet to receive a contribution from Neshek or fellow recent signee Tommy Hunter, though as Zolecki recently tweeted, it seems Hunter is nearing his return and perhaps Neshek won’t be far behind.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- New Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler was again forced to defend his early-season decision-making, as Zolecki also writes. This time, the questions arose in relation to defensive positioning, yet another area in which the Philadelphia club is experimenting with unconventional methods. Interested readers will want to review the full post for the details. Generally, though, Kapler again emphasized that he believes the process will pay dividends in the long run, even if the short-term results have raised the ire of many Phillies fans.
- Former top Marlins pick Tyler Kolek has been scratched from his first scheduled start of the new season, as Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com tweets. He’ll instead go on the minor-league DL. Details aren’t known at this point, but it’s hardly an auspicious start for the 22-year-old, who has thrown just 3 2/3 innings over the past two seasons in large part due to Tommy John surgery. Kolek, now 22 years of age, was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2014 draft.
- Of course, things can change quickly — in either direction — for a pitcher, particularly when health issues are involved. The Mets and Matt Harvey know that as well as anyone. As James Wagner of the New York Times wrote after Harvey’s first start of the new season, the once-dominant, then dumped-on hurler has shown signs of reemerging as a new but potentially effective starter in his final season of team control. Wagner notes that the Mets fielded trade interest in Harvey this offseason but opted not to sell low on the right-hander — in part at the behest of newly hired manager Mickey Callaway and new pitching coach Dave Eiland. A free agent at season’s end, Harvey opened the year with five shutout innings, during which he yielded just one hit and one walk with five strikeouts.