As we all strongly suspected, and have suspected for at least two months now, Pat Neshek will be the Phillies’ lone All-Star representative.
Yeah. It’s just that kind of year.
Neshek definitely deserves it. He’s been the most dependable Phillies reliever since the beginning of the season. He’s pitched 32.1 innings for the Phils and managed to keep an ERA of 1.39. And that’s including his last outing on July 1, in which he allowed a season-high three runs, including a two-run homer.
Before that disastrous outing that ended up losing the Phillies the game, Neshek had an 0.57 ERA, which is just insane. That’s how good he’s been. His worst appearance of the year more than doubled his ERA.
There’s really no question that Neshek deserves to be at the All-Star Game, but it’s a little depressing that none of the Phillies’ core players were good enough. Neshek is great, but he’s in town on just a one-year deal. And he hasn’t endeared himself to any of the fans with his weird, unnecessary lying.
And what’s more, he’ll be gone soon. The Phillies are 100% going to trade him, and not just because Neshek clearly wants to be traded as soon as humanly possible. He’s pretty much the Phillies’ most valuable trade chip. With Howie Kendrick injured and Daniel Nava being... well, Daniel Nava, Neshek’s steadiness and consistency (even with that last disastrous appearance) is something more than a few teams crave. The Nationals can’t seem to build a decent bullpen to save their lives, so Neshek may follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Papelbon and pack his bags for our nation’s capitol. (He probably won’t strangle Bryce Harper, though I won’t rule anything out.)
The game is in just a few weeks (July 11), so we probably don’t have to worry about Neshek being traded before the game actually happens. But I can’t blame anyone if they don’t want to watch. It was exciting last year when Odubel Herrera was in the game, because he was a young former rule 5 pick, and part of the Phillies future core. This year? Neshek is going to be a former Phillie before the month is up. It’s hard to get excited about watching that, but that’s not really Neshek’s fault.
So congratulations on your second trip to the All-Star Game, Pat Neshek! And please enjoy your last few weeks as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.