Neshek expects trade, takes rumors in stride

Reliever, who is free agent after the season, has 1.21 ERA in 40 appearances

Neshek expects trade, takes rumors in stride

MILWAUKEE -- Pat Neshek needed just 14 pitches to strike out the side in the seventh inning Saturday night at Miller Park, inducing four swings and misses.

In a dominant season that should have him pitching for a postseason contender no later than Aug. 1, it was Neshek's best performance of the year. Following another scoreless inning in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 win over the Brewers with a 1.21 ERA in 40 appearances. He is a near lock to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"The Quintana trade just happened, so you know it's close," Neshek said, referring to the White Sox trading Jose Quintana to the Cubs last week. "But it usually takes a while. It'll probably be the last couple days."

But wouldn't Neshek be stunned to be wearing a Phillies uniform on Aug. 1? He is a free agent after the season and is not part of the team's rebuild.

"Stunned?" Neshek said. "I don't know. I've seen some weird stuff happen over the years with the guys that were talked about all the time and nothing happened. But yeah, it'd be a little surprising."

Neshek just pitched a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game on Tuesday before heading to Milwaukee for the Phillies' first series after the break against the Brewers. An avid baseball card and autograph collector, Neshek got a bonus in Milwaukee.

The Brewers are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1982 American League championship team, and he got an autograph from Pete Vukovich, who won the AL Cy Young Award that season, which is a tough one to get.

He also enjoyed seeing the former Brewers. His father, Gene, grew up in nearby Waukesha, so he always bought Neshek and his brother Paul (named after Hall of Famer Paul Molitor) Brewers memorabilia before they moved to Minnesota.

"This has been better than the All-Star Game," Neshek said, chuckling. "It's cool, because these are the guys I grew up watching. My dad tells me stories about all the guys. It was neat seeing them. I was Robin Yount and my brother was Paul Molitor when we were playing in the backyard."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.