The Phillies' closer situation may not seem like a huge deal under normal circumstances, but they are finally giving their best reliever a chance to shine.
Since trading Ken Giles to the Astros in December 2015, Philadelphia has been struggling to find a consistent presence to close out games. April's follies alone have epitomized their desperation and cluelessness.
Manager Pete Mackanin started this season with Jeanmar Gomez closing games. That, predictably did not work. Then, inexplicably, Mackanin turned to 39-year-old Joaquin Benoit, who ultimately served up a game-losing three-run home run to Bryce Harper.
Mackanin never formally announced another closer change, but Hector Neris, arguably the team's best reliever since losing Giles, came in and recorded his first save of the season Thursday against the Mets.
According to CSN Philly, the Phillies will use Neris as their closer Friday against the Braves if the opportunity arises.
Neris, 27, went 2-4 with a 2.58 ERA and 1.11 WHIP last season while striking out 102 batters in just 80 1/3 innings pitched. He has allowed just three base runners with no earned runs in 8 1/3 innings this season.
The Phillies (6-9) may not be considered a hotbed for save opportunities, but Neris has the potential to pick up a lot of strikeouts and thrive in this high-pressure role.
Neris is worth an add in all fantasy baseball leagues, and could rack up more saves than anticipated as the young Phillies continue to improve.