Updated: Dec 2, 2021
This a scouting follow-up to the "Why the Astros are signing Hector Neris" by LarryTheGM
From Clint The Scout
Hector Neris has been an effective relief pitcher for the Phillies. It may come as some surprise they’d let him walk. However, it comes to our benefit, as he is capable to getting outs, especially in high-leverage positions.
Heris comes at you with a fastball, splitter, and changeup. He is in upper percentiles for several pitching ranks below:
I’m not a numbers guy, but what I do know is that Neris is very effective against Right-handed hitters because of the movement and depth of his splitter. It dives down and into the hands of most RHHs, thus creating a lot of swings and misses. His fastball runs into RHHs also, creating even more chaos for them.
This may also be why he struggles against LHHs. He is unable to work into them like an RHH. However, it can be a matter of pitch selection and sequence that could help him improve against lefties. I would love for Neris to utilize his sinker more against LHHs and go fastball-splitter to RHHs.
The mechanics of a splitter are very interesting. Most breaking pitches, like slider, involve being soft in the wrist and letting it break. A splitter is thrown with a firm wrist, to limit the amount of backspin, thus creating the downward tilt. You may ask, why doesn’t he throw his slider more? In my opinion, it’s a matter of feel and the mechanics that don’t translate from a splitter specialist to the slider.
Remember last off-season when the Astros very quietly added Ryne Stanek? This move feels very much like that one, but with a pitcher that profiles as a closer with much higher percentile rankings. I believe that’s the beautiful thing about our Astros. While other teams are looking for the significant upgrade, a premium player, our Astros are working to add pieces and improve an already great roster.
Hector Neris will bring it, and it will be great addition to the bullpen. You’re adding a RP with closing experience to a bullpen with Ryan Pressly and Ryne Stanek. I think the benefit of becoming an Astro is that Neris will be given a simplified approach to his outings. Even without Bret Strom, the Astros pitching coaches are able to work to pitchers’ strengths and exploit what they do well often. And who knows, perhaps a slider will be found while he’s in Houston. Orange Fire set-up a post in the Forum with even more data regarding the Neris walks. Go there to discuss this Scouting Report and ask Clint questions. If you liked this article or any of the others here, you really should subscribe to LarryTheGM.com (Below the header and above the articles). You will get notified of new content and you can use the chat feature. The offseason is some of the best time for the content I will bring at LarryTheGM.com.
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