Where does Neris fit?
After Ryan Pressly, Neris has the best career pedigree of anyone else left in the Astros bullpen. And while it appears he isn’t elite against the elite hitters, he still projects out to be a reliable out-getter for Houston. Those aren’t exactly easy to find.
Personally, I think Neris would be an ideal option in the seventh inning or eighth inning for the Astros to set up for Pressly. Neris, alongside with Phil Maton and Stanek, would be an appealing three-headed monster for Dusty Baker to deploy depending on opponents.
Throw Rafael Montero and Cristian Javier and (just maybe) a healthy bounce-back year from Pedro Baez into the mix and now Houston might have a pretty forceful bullpen.
Let’s not assume that Neris is going to morph into an All-Star, because he won’t. And signing Neris certainly doesn’t change the competitive landscape for the Astros, and it doesn’t invoke fear in opposing teams.
But slating a very good reliever, who gets strikeouts and has demonstrated success in big spots to pitch, in the seventh or eighth inning, makes this team much better.
The Astros likely aren’t done signing guys once the lockout ends, but adding Neris as a late-inning option only bolsters Houston’s chances for another deep postseason run.