Astros Player of the Day: Héctor Neris

Mar 5, 2023; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Hector Neris (50) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Astros Player of the Day: Héctor Neris

Welcome to Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight: Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout the spring.

Today’s Astros Player of the Day is relief pitcher Héctor Neris.

Neris was a free agent pick up by the Houston Astros following the 2021 season, signing for two years and $17 million. Having spent the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia, his first season in Houston was a success.

A high-leverage reliever who generates swings-and-misses at a high rate, Neris finished 2022 with a 6-4 record, a 3.72 ERA, and a very strong 1.01 WHIP. Some of his peripheral numbers were fantastic, including a 10.9 K/9 rate, 4.65 K/BB rate, and 0.4 HR/9 rate. Neris also posted three saves.

Neris has a four-pitch arsenal, with his best pitch being his splitter to generate his high swing-and-miss totals. He also utilizes a 95 MPH sinker, a four-seam fastball, and an occasional slider.

Neris pitched the eighth inning of the Astros’ combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium on June 25. He also pitched the seventh inning on July 3 against the Los Angeles Angels, logging a pair of strikeouts, contributing to the Astros’ new team record for most strikeouts by their pitchers in a game with 20. Neris also performed well in the postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, striking out nine in six innings without walking a batter.

As a reliever who had closer experience in Philadelphia and showed he could handle high-leverage situations in Houston last season, Neris should be counted on again at the back of the Astros pen, serving as a primary setup man for Ryan Pressly along with Rafael Montero. Expect to see Neris pitch a lot of seventh innings and some eighth innings, even getting the occasional save opportunity.

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