|Pat Neshek's fastball|
was stuck in the mid-80s
Roster status: 40-man roster;
Chance of making team: He'd have to pitch his way off the roster.
It's rather startling to realize how long it's been since Pat Neshek was an effective major league reliever -- 2007.
It's testimony to how devastating his quirky sidearm delivery was on right-handers in his first 90 or so games that he is generally reckoned to be a favorite to make the 25-man roster.
But his recovery from Tommy John surgery has not been as smooth as that of Joe Nathan. When I saw him pitch in September in Target Field against the Kansas City Royals, he had nothing. His fastball was in the mid 80s, and that's not enough velocity.
A good rule of thumb with him: If his fastball is around 90 mph, he'll be effective. Around 85, not.
He had a very good inning Wednesday against Pittsburgh -- two weak groundball outs from left-handed hitters followed by a strikeout of a right-handed hitter.
That's a positive, although hardly decisive. More important to me will be what the radar guns tell us near the end of camp.