Home / News / Hèctor Neris offers the much-needed veteran presence in the arena

Hèctor Neris offers the much-needed veteran presence in the arena


MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs reliever Hèctor Neris paced the agility field Friday morning with prospect Ben Brown at his side.

They had just finished throwing their first camp bullpen, placed side by side on mounds, before chatting during their walk to the team’s complex. Known throughout his career as “Happy Hèctor” for his cheerful spirit and always smiling, Neris is already a welcome addition to a pitching staff that needs to find a veteran in the bullpen.

“Guys gravitate towards him right away,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said.

Neris, 34, accomplished all of this during his eight major league seasons in Philadelphia; this experience provided valuable insight into the Cubs’ bullpen. When Neris left the Phillies after 2021 to join the Houston Astros, the right-hander set a franchise record for most strikeouts by a reliever, finishing with 520 strikeouts in 405 games. That track record of success and durability, combined with a two-year postseason stint with the Astros, including a World Series title in 2022, has Neris on a roll. Offseason priority signing for Cubs.

“There’s a lot of things young pitchers can learn from him on a lot of different topics,” Hottovy said. “Bringing that in and putting that steady piece right in the middle of the guys that we brought out last year who had some success and want to do it again and not only want to do it again but want to make a career out of doing it, he’s going to be a great guy to talk to.

Neris has machine-like stamina, making at least 70 appearances in five seasons. He excelled in a variety of roles in the late innings and made 89 career saves.

“We are big fans of Hèctor,” assistant Julian Merryweather told the Tribune. “As a veteran, he’s seen everything you can do as a reliever to bring to the bullpen. We will all learn a lot from him and pick his brain.

“After a full year together, everything is coming at the perfect time for him to join us. “We have some experience with it now, so we’re really excited for him to be able to do this for a few years and see how he goes about his business and his routines.”

David J. Phillip/AP

Astros reliever Hector Neris celebrates the final out in the top of the seventh inning against the Phillies on Nov. 5, 2022.

2023 Merryweather, Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert While providing valuable experience for Alzolay in the prime years of his career, the bullpen was sometimes missing the expertise of a true veteran reliever. Hottovy said veteran leadership becomes especially valuable when things aren’t going well or guys start hitting a wall in August and then he can lean on that resource.

Neris said, “I am not an expert, you try to help with my experiences, what I think, what I see.” “I had a lot of guys early in my career who helped me and did what I loved to do. These guys, I saw the talent they had last year, and if I can help that talent, this arena, this team, then I’m available.

“From my experience now, my mind is clearer about every situation. “I have more control over my emotions at every moment.”

Neris developed a reputation in Philadelphia for always wanting the ball. Throughout his career, when he was never rested (which he did 127 times), Neris was impressively effective; opposing hitters had a .207 average, .288 on-base and a .642 OPS.

Neris attributes his endurance to how he prepared daily throughout the season.

“Don’t try to do anything crazy,” Neris said. “Don’t try to be a hero. This is mine. I like to keep playing to feel how I feel, I like to have the ball. I have to help the team. I do this every day I can.

Coach Craig Counsell does not envision relievers being locked into specific rolesprefers the flexibility to use the bullpen as the game situation requires. That outlook may change slightly as he continues to learn his personnel over the next five weeks. But the expectation is for versatile options in the late innings.

This is an approach taken by Neris.

“Everyone is important because you don’t know which shot is important for the game,” Neris said. “From the moment you enter the field, you are ready to help the team in any situation. It doesn’t matter, you don’t have to wait until the ninth inning. I know the ninth inning is a more important inning for the game because you can undo everything you have done in the game in this inning, but it depends on the situation in the game.

“Everybody can be closer because if you’re on the team, because if you have the talent to compete, you can control every shot.”


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super