Phillies add Neftali Feliz to bullpen ahead of Mets series

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Phillies add former All-Star closer to their bullpen for Mets series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies have made some significant roster moves, particularly in the bullpen, ahead of this weekend’s important four-game series against the Mets in New York.

Two of the relievers who contributed to the Phillies’ blowing three leads in Wednesday’s 13-12 loss to Washington are out: Sam Coonrod has been placed on the injured list with right forearm tendinitis and David Hale has been designated for assignment.

The team has added an interesting name to the bullpen. Right-hander Neftali Feliz, the 2010 American League rookie of the year, had his contract selected from Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Feliz, 33, saved 40 games and was an All-Star for Texas in 2010. He saved 32 games in 2011. Arm problems, which included a slow recovery from Tommy John surgery, have kept him out of the majors since 2017. He pitched in the Dominican Republic over the winter, showed some pop on his fastball, and signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies that included an invite to big-league spring training camp.

A visa issue prevented Feliz from getting to camp on time in February, but he was able to get on the mound before camp broke. At Lehigh Valley, he pitched in 15 games and allowed just eight hits and two earned runs in 14 1/3 innings. He struck out 23 and walked just six.

Feliz’ fastball has been 94-95 mph. He mixes in a breaking ball and veteran “pitchability.” Now, he gets a shot to see if he can help the Phillies, who are in need of bullpen help. Closer Hector Neris has blown saves in three of his last five appearances and manager Joe Girardi is considering moving him out of that role.

In addition to Feliz, the Phillies added infielder Nick Maton and reliever Enyel De Los Santos from Triple A. De Los Santos is the 27th man for Friday’s doubleheader.

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