As we approach the month of December many arbitration eligible players might begin to sweat a little bit as the deadline for teams to tender contracts looms. Pat Neshek will be able to sit back and relax though as he and the Athletics came to terms on a contract for the 2013 season the team announced today. Neshek was brought in during the month of August from the Baltimore Orioles Triple A roster and really excelled upon arriving in Oakland. He allowed just 3 ER in 19.2 innings for the A’s, an ERA of 1.37.
Neshek though inspired even the most stoic A’s fans by pitching in the ALDS just days after losing his newborn son Gehrig. Nobody watching that game could possibly have had a dry eye. Neshek had already played a pivotal role in helping the A’s get to the playoffs, but this moment truly made him a part of the Athletics family. The team wore patches to honor his infant son’s memory.
Now as the Athletics look to 2013, Neshek will indeed be part of the equation. Of course he probably should never appear on the mound against a left handed hitter, as his encounter with Raul Ibanez at Yankee Stadium clearly demonstrated. But when he takes the hill against a right hander, he is downright filthy. Right handers hit .094/.180/.189 against Neshek, and gave up just 1 home run (To Adrian Beltre in Texas).
He will slot in as a right handed specialist once again in 2013, and the expectation is that he’ll be every bit as tough against righties as he was in 2012. This is just another example of Billy Beane‘s shrewd moves paying dividends, and he has built an extremely strong bullpen because of it.