Hector Neris is back with the Phillies Sunday after missing a game while on the paternity list.
The timing is beneficial because the Phils needed five relievers in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Nationals: Ranger Suarez, Archie Bradley, Sam Coonrod, Jose Alvarado and Connor Brogdon.
Alvarado and Suarez, the Phillies’ two lefties in the bullpen, are almost certainly unavailable Sunday. Alvarado has pitched two consecutive days and manager Joe Girardi does not like using a reliever in three straight. Suarez threw 47 pitches in his three innings Saturday.
The Phillies are also without both long relievers Chase Anderson and David Hale, who were placed on the COVID-related injured list Sunday morning. Replacing them on the active roster were Neris and hard-throwing left-hander Cristopher Sanchez from Triple A. Sanchez, who hasn’t yet made his MLB debut, was a logical call-up to give the Phils a lefty option in the ‘pen for the series finale.
Anderson has allowed six runs in 5⅔ innings in relief after losing his rotation spot to Spencer Howard, who has also struggled to get deep into games.
Hale has a 5.64 ERA in 13 appearances, one of which was a three-inning spot start.
Vince Velasquez got the nod Sunday after giving up six runs in three innings in Cincinnati his last time out. In his previous four starts, he allowed three runs in 23 innings.