Phillies closer, Corey Nebel has been put on the list of those infected with the Covid virus, and Jeff Singer has called his hometown child

Phillies put Cory Kneppel on the list of those infected with Covid on Tuesday, a day after Knebel was unavailable in their 5-4 win due to what manager Joe Girardi described as flu-like symptoms.

Girardi said Nebel, who was not at the mall on Monday night, is feeling better on Tuesday than he did on Monday, and the team still believed even on Tuesday afternoon that he had the flu. An initial COVID test did not lead to a positive result, but Velez is awaiting the results of a second saliva test that Knepel conducted on Monday.

“He just has the flu, we think,” Girardi said Tuesday afternoon. “We are waiting for a couple of tests. He feels better today than he did yesterday, but we have to wait for this last test. It’s the saliva test that we have to scan, which goes out to the lab.”

If this test comes back negative, Knebel will be eligible to return immediately. In his absence on Monday, the Phillies turned to left-handed Brad Hand, one of many loyalists with closing experience. Jeurys Familia, Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez also did the job on points. Hand made the ninth inning 1-2-3 and looked good at doing so, spotting a quick ball on the outside corner and throwing his passer to strike.

If Knebel has to miss more than two days, Girardi said the Phillies will mix and match more closely based on who makes it. Two hits from the left – Dom Smith and Brandon Nemo – hit the ninth inning on Monday. Had it been three in a row right-wingers, he might have used Phil Familia.

Taking Knebel’s place on the Phillies’ active roster is South Jersey’s Jeff Singer, who got the call Tuesday morning he’s been waiting for his whole life: He’s been called up to the big leagues by the team he grew up for.

The singer, who was attending “40, 50 or more” family members and friends on Tuesday night, used a surreal word to describe his day.

“It kinda just surprised me, it’s so early in the season,” he said. “It hasn’t really affected yet for me. You know there’s going to be moves throughout the year, but I didn’t think it would be so early, especially for me. I don’t really know what to say. I have a lot of friends and family here and we’re all really excited.” It’s going to be a fun experience. For now, I’m really thinking about the moment.”

The left flanker, who graduated from the Holy Cross Academy in Delran before joining Monmouth and Rutgers-Camden, has made four goalless runs in Triple A in two appearances this season.

Lefties Cristopher Sanchez and Bailey Falter play to follow Zack Wheeler Tuesday after what is expected to be a shortened start, and Hand may be asked to close, so it doesn’t hurt to have another left in the ‘pen. Singer is the sixth left-handed playwright on Phillies’ active roster, along with Hand, Sanchez, Valter, Alvarado and Damon Jones. Since Singer replaces a player that Phillies put on COVID IL, they can raise him even though he’s not on the 40-player roster.

“I just have to stick to my strengths and take advantage of them moment by moment if I get in there,” he said.

The 28-year-old singer has an interesting story. He never gave up on his dream and went on to play in the men’s league baseball in Rankaucas Valley in Burlington County while making his living working for a car dealership in Northeast Philly. He played well enough in the Rancocas Valley League to earn a spot with Camden Riversharks, then eventually struck a minor deal with the Phillies in 2015.

Singer moved up the minor league ladder with excellent seasons in Class A at Lakewood in 2016 and High A Clearwater in 2017. He did better in 2019 at Double A Reading, going 7-0 with a 2.34 ERA and hitting 74 in the 61 degree innings.

“We think he’ll handle the situation,” Girardi said. “He’s been with us a few times in spring training, and he can give us a few runs if we need to.” “It’s a great story, he’s from here. I’m sure he’ll lead the pass list tonight. Good for him.”

Check out more of the Singer story here.