Hector Neris will open the season as the Philadelphia Phillies' closer, manager Joe Girardi announced Wednesday.
Girardi chose Neris over fellow right-hander Archie Bradley and left-hander Jose Alvarado, who will serve as Philadelphia's top setup relievers.
"I liked the way all three of them threw the ball [in spring training]," Girardi told reporters Wednesday. "When you look at Archie, he's a guy that you can ask to give multiple innings -- more than three outs -- on occasion. He's comfortable doing it, he's willing to do it. Alvarado is the lefty that I can deploy against the lefties where they are in the lineup.
"Hector has closed. After a slow start last year, I thought he threw the ball pretty well, and I liked the way he threw the ball this spring."
Neris pitched in 10 games during spring training, striking out 14 batters and walking none over 9⅔ innings and posting a 3.72 ERA. He was 2-2 with a 4.57 ERA and five saves in 24 relief appearances in 2020, striking out 27 and walking 13 in 21⅔ innings.
Since making his debut with Philadelphia in 2014, Neris is 17-22 with 72 saves and a 3.38 ERA in 331 appearances out of the bullpen.
"He's done it, he's done it in this town, and I like the way he's throwing the baseball," Girardi said.
Reuters contributed to this report.