Phillies

Phillies place Pat Neshek on disabled list

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Phillies place Pat Neshek on disabled list

ATLANTA — The Phillies spent the spring talking about keeping their players healthy and implementing plans to do so.

And now, two days into the regular season, they have four pitchers on the disabled list.

Reliever Pat Neshek joined Tommy Hunter, Jerad Eickhoff and Mark Leiter Jr. on the DL Thursday. He has a right shoulder strain that he described in contrasting terms.

“It’s not anything major, I don’t think,” he said at first.

Later, he said the injury “could be something serious.”

Neshek will have tests Saturday to determine the exact severity of the injury.

The pitcher said he started feeling discomfort in the back of his shoulder during his final spring training outing. The 37-year-old right-hander knows his body — he’s a Tommy John surgery veteran — and he’s never previously felt pain in the back of the shoulder.

“That’s what’s kind of weirding me out a little,” he said.

The Phillies recalled right-handed reliever Yacksel Rios from Triple A to take Neshek’s place.

Neshek signed a two-year, $16.25 million contract with the Phillies in December. He was one of two veteran bullpen additions, the other being Hunter, who signed a two-year, $18 million contract. Hunter is out with a hamstring injury that is not considered serious.

Neshek was not available to pitch in Thursday’s season opener, a troubling loss in which the Phillies’ blew a 5-0 lead after manager Gabe Kapler removed starting pitcher Aaron Nola after 68 pitches (see story). The Phillies’ bullpen gave up seven runs and lost the game, 8-7, on a walk-off three-run homer by Atlanta’s Nick Markakis.

“It sucks, it’s terrible,” Neshek said of not being able to help out in that game. “You just feel like a bum at the end.”

Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

SAN DIEGO — The beginning wasn’t easy for Gabe Kapler in Philadelphia and neither was the end. He was booed before managing his first game in Citizens Bank Park in 2018. Eighteen months later, he twisted in the wind for 10 days as Phillies ownership pondered whether to bring him back for the 2020 season or let him go.

Eventually, Kapler was fired but he wasn’t out of work long as the San Francisco Giants hired him to manage their club in November.

At the winter meetings Tuesday, Kapler recalled waiting for John Middleton’s verdict over those uncomfortable final 10 days in Philadelphia.

“Those ten days were challenging because I definitely wanted the opportunity to continue to manage the Phillies,” Kapler said. “I wanted to see the work that we put in, and I wanted to see it through the finish line. In my mind, that finish line was still in the future and in the distance, and I think there's going to be a lot of great things accomplished in Philadelphia next year.

“But it was difficult, and sometimes there's a real silver lining to those situations. I think the Philadelphia Phillies got a great manager in Joe Girardi in place, and I think I have an opportunity to manage a club that I'm incredibly excited about, and the people that I'm working with, I'm really excited about as well. So I think, interestingly, even though it was challenging, those 10 days, it worked out pretty well for the Phillies, and I think it worked out really well for the Giants as well.”

Kapler was asked what he said to Middleton upon learning that he would not return to manage the Phillies.

“The last words were 'thank you for the opportunity,' ” he said.

Kapler was asked how he might have been able to save his job in Philadelphia.

“Probably win more baseball games,” he said.

Kapler’s record in Philadelphia was 161-163. He learned a lot in those two seasons.

“I think the thing that stands out to me is I'm excited about getting every possible strategic advantage as a manager and as part of a coaching staff,” Kapler said. “I think that one of the things that I learned is that sometimes those small strategic advantages come at the expense of some confidence from a player.

“So I think I did a better job in 2019 than I did in 2018 of blending those two things, blending the small strategic advantages with the confidence level of the players, and I think I'm going to do a better job having learned some of those lessons in '18, in 2020, without overcorrecting. I think that's an important part as well. Bringing it back to the middle is important, too, after an overcorrection is made.

“So, specifically, it's just striking the right balance between getting small strategic advantages and confidence levels of players.”

Kapler will be back in Philadelphia with the Giants August 7-10 — unless he sneaks into town earlier for one of his favorite steaks at Suraya.

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Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

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Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

MLB free agency is in full swing and the newest addition to the Phillies, Didi Gregorius, has quite the personality on Twitter.

More specifically, he really enjoys tweeting after his team wins ... especially with emojis.

It almost feels like Groundhog Day scrolling through his feed. And by the looks of things, he rarely forgets.

Take a look:

Of course, these are only a few of the many he has tweeted out. If you have the time though, look at the rest — there are definitely some hidden gems.

Will he continue this tradition with his new club? Will we be able to see tweets from him stating that the bullpen was worth four fire emojis? What emojis will he assign for Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and the rest of the team?

These are the hard-hitting questions we want answered right after the news of a signing breaks — but we'll just have to wait and see once Spring Training comes to a close in a few months.

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