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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: SORTING OUT THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES MESS

Hecter Netis it is simply just not happening.  That would be the easy assessment to make about the de factor Philadelphia Phillies closer who despite having big-time power stuff, has struggled since being anointed the team's closer going back to 2017.  Sitting with a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP for the season, Neris has never looked comfortable at any one time closing games this season and it has now reached the point that with a 4-1 lead in the ninth Wednesday, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler called on setup man Edubray Ramos to get the first two outs (via strikeout I might add) before bringing in Neris to get the one out with no save on the line.  The fact that Neris didn't begin the inning tells you that Kapler has lost faith in him as the clear-cut closer and so now we have to start looking at possible alternatives given the current climate.  On that front, it would likely be either Tommy Hunter or Ramos who would step up in place of Neris if in fact a change is made and either would be worth a look in deeper leagues right now as a hedge.  As far as Ramos is concerned, he now sits with a terrific 1.13 mark both in WHIP and in ERA and he also has 20 K's in 16 IP which is certainly closer-worthy.  Since Ramos has pitched so well, he has lapped Hunter in my mind as the top add if Neris gets pulled and Wednesday's setup certainly jives with this.  With regards to Hunter, his 4.32 ERA and 1.44 WHIP don't compare in any way to what Ramos is doing and so the only thing he has going for him is the veteran angle.  Still, Ramos is the add here.  So especially those who own stock in Neris, picking up Ramos is the way to go right now.  Given that Neris has struggled for so long finishing games, we expect a change to happen sooner rather than later. 


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