The Dip: Brett Myers: The Return of the Native

Posted by The Dipsy, Fri, July 31, 2009 09:30 AM | Comments: 118
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts, The Dip

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Amongst all the hubbub surrounding the Cliff Lee acquisition, the Phils find themselves sitting on a potential treasure trove of arms to employ for the stretch run to the pennant (it used to be called “pennant”, I’m not sure what its called now). While J.P. Ricciardi cleans out his desk Saturday morning, victim of what l call a “Ruben Sandwich,” Charlie Manuel will be sitting in a locker room somewhere trying to think of a way to fit six, soon to be seven, and not long after that, eight (!) pitchers into his starting rotation. That eighth pitcher will almost assuredly be Brett Myers, showing up late to the party, but there nevertheless.

If things go as The Dipsy predicts (in honor of Ricky Henderson’s induction into the Hall of Fame, I am referring to myself in the third person), Happ will go to the bullpen (a shame), Lopez will be traded for a minimal return and Martinez and Moyer will be your No. 4 and 5 starters, not necessarily in that order. Easy enough, I guess, until Myers is done his rehab stints and shows up at Citizens Bank Park pronouncing himself cured and ready to pitch. And that talented right arm has to go someplace.

BrettIn 2008, Myers was one of the best starters in baseball after he came back from his electroshock therapy in Reading. He went long into games, moved his fastball in the zone, and his curveball bit and didn’t hang. In short, he was great, and the Phils would not have reached the World Series without him. The season prior, Myers was unexpectedly thrust into the role of closer and thrived with 21 saves while averaging more than 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The guy has shown he can close.

What happens when Myers returns will hinge on what happens with Martinez. If Martinez can’t hack it, Myers slides into his spot and Martinez goes to the pen. If Martinez is pitching reasonably well, he will serve as the righty starter to balance out the rotation, and Myers will pitch in relief. Then it becomes interesting. I would love to see the “Bridge to Lidge” include Myers flashing his old form and effectively holding things down anywhere from the sixth to eighth innings, with the switch over to J.C. Romero as needed, then right into Ryan Madson. Then Lidge in the 9th.

While all of this this sounds great In theory, it can’t work unless Lidge has it together. As of now he does not. And he has a history a “crisises in confidence.” If September comes with Myers pitching well and Lidge struggling, and we all hope that won’t happen, I would expect Manuel to dispense with the “I’ll stick with my horse” or “I’ll dance with girl that brung me” crap and make the switch to Myers. Playoff baseball is no place to wait for a guy to find his stuff. Myers runs to pressure. And he needs a contract next year. I think he’ll be primed. We want Brett Myers to pitch well. We all want Brad Lidge to pitch well. But most of all, we want the best guy on the mound to close games.

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The Dipsy has written 29 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Rick in MA

    I think it’s a long shot for Myers returning to the rotation this year at all. I don’t know that he has enough time for rehab. I think his rehab stint would have to be considerable in order to work up to pitching 6-9 innings. No?

    I do love the thought of Myers being a backup to Lidge should he continue to not get “into a rhythm”. I think everyone’s patience with him is dwindling at this point.

    I wonder if the Phillies will resign Myers in the off-season? Now that we’ve learned he was having problems with his hip for quite some time, he could come back and pitch really well next year. It seemed evident that he was having some physical problems when he lost so much velocity on his fastball over the past 2 seasons.

  • Posts: 0 TwoTonsOfIrony


    Myers cannot return to the rotation. Coming back this early he will not be able to pitch long innings. His only option is to come back to the pen and pitch in a setup role of some sort. There is no way that they would move Happ back to the pen for Myers, who while he can be great, is incredibly inconsistent. Do you want to wait around all September to see if he can get it together? Happ will stay, he has been the best pitcher on the staff for about 2 months now. I still think Moyer would be a great bullpen piece, talk about a change of speeds. Unfortunately that would have to be something that he suggests himself because I don’t think anyone is going to tell him to go to the pen.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I can’t wait for Myers to come back… This guy is a horse and we all know what he’s capable of… We have nothing to lose. If he sucks, oh well, let him continue his rehab… But if he’s lights out like in late 2008, then let the guy pitch!

  • Posts: 0 Winks Tiddley

    Myers will not be able to start. If he can play at all this year, I think he will be best served in the bullpen. He could even close if Lidge does not get his act together. Then again, how long will it take for Bret to get his act together. Hey, he may even be our future closer, with his mentality.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Gotta agree with the consensus that Myers won’t have the arm strength to start, but he would be a huge help for the bullpen. I’m torn with having Happ in the bullpen, given how good he’s performed for us. However, he’s shown that he can do it, and it’s about fielding the best team right now. Pedro won’t have more than a start or two to prove himself and if he’s not getting it done you bring Happ back in. Unless Moyer turns things on the second half of this year our playoff rotation is Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Pedro/Happ. That’s not a rotation to complaign about.

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    First off, how do you even put Pedro anywhere near this rotation after pitching 1.2 innings in the minors. No way Happ goes to the pen for Pedro, if anything Pedro might get a spot start, and when he can only go five innings and gets bombed the phillies will hand him his Million dollars and send him on his way, if he does not agree to go to the pen,
    So put the pipe down and realize Happ is in the rotation to stay. If they were going to put him back in the pen then he would have been in a trade for Halladay.
    If and that is a big IF Myers can come back and pitch this year in the majors he will be in the bull pen. He would not be able to go long into games with the short rehab he would need to make it back to the big leagues

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Reportedly, Myers is throwing. No doubt, he will not be ready to start, even if he wanted to, until probably early-mid September. But I guess the issue is, will the Phils want him to do rehab starts, or just rehab innings. I would think he can work his arm back up in about 3 weeks to a month. But then again, I’m no doctor. Remember, there’s not a thing wrong with his arm. Does he have time to come back as a starter? I guess nobody knows. Better to throw as a starter and ratchet it down to relief than the other way around I would think.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Myers will pitch. And I roll my own joints, thanks.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of NoVa.

    Well said Dipsy, one thing that we all can agree is that it is a tough dilemma, but a good one to have, all those arms

  • Posts: 0 Rick in MA

    I wonder if the Jays would have been interested in Myers at all?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    “First off, how do you even put Pedro anywhere near this rotation after pitching 1.2 innings in the minors. No way Happ goes to the pen for Pedro, if anything Pedro might get a spot start, and when he can only go five innings and gets bombed the phillies will hand him his Million dollars and send him on his way, if he does not agree to go to the pen,
    So put the pipe down and realize Happ is in the rotation to stay.”

    Agree with you beta, and I hope that that happens… Aren’t there any doubleheaders in August? Let Pedro pitch one of those… but I can’t see how they would let him pitch in the rotation without having pitched at least 3 or 4 games in the minors… For now, I’ll take some comfort in the words of the new god of baseball (Ruben Amaro Jr): “Happ? He’s a proven starter right now. Right now we’ve very pleased with how he’s pitched.” “

  • Posts: 0 mookey

    if Myers can get healthy enough to go balls out for 1 inning, I’d look to him to close before I would Lidge……

  • Posts: 0 Rick in MA

    I just realized that was a stupid question because he’s a free agent at the end of the year and he’s paid quite well this year. It wouldn’t make sense at all from the Jays perspective.

  • Posts: 0 Rick in MA

    Anybody think the Phils will re-sign Myers?

    I doubt it with Moyer signed for another year.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Myers would have to take a huge discount and he’d be probably in the bullpen. Someone will make Myers a better offer than the Phils will.

  • Posts: 0 JohnnyBgood

    Cliff Lee….uhhh….sloppy seconds nice …4.01 era… right around the philly starters …don’ think its gonna hold water but guess you’ll see….coming from Cleveland to Filthdelphia it might one step up on the food chain….but if ya think Hamels is liking it he doesn’t and I’ll bet he wants to re-due his contract at this writing …Moyers is gonna feel the Lee thing for sure as well Meyers….Lee pitches tonight …..and then ya got Pedro….there’s cancer treament for the dugout and locker room…..if ya didn’t get Halladay ….you got sloppy seconds..so if he loses tonight what are you clowns gonna say oh…first outing ….the weather….something he ate…uniform is too tight….I’d say right now your best pitching is Blanton and Happ……oh thank heaven for Lidge and 7.11….hee hee hee…..

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    I never said Myers would not pitch, I said I would doubt he will be ready to start, and if you say comes true, are you really going to change you rotation in mid to late september. But I do respect a man who still rolls his own, I was refering to Pedro pitching in this rotation

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Break time: Astro Travel Films present: “The Return of Psyco Myers” Halloween Music…………. Starring Brett Myers, Brade Lidge, Cholly “I couldn’t be any happier” Manuel, and nervous as hell Phillies Fans. Produced by”The Ghosts of ’93″. Sponsored by Stomach Ulcers Fred Sanford’s “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you” bit. Lidge: Lock up tight he’s coming for you. Insert T-Mac’s Dracula like laugh…. A little more Halloween music…..

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    You have to be pleased with Happ and I think that they’ll let him pitch as long as he continues to do what he has done but he has already logged 100 innings… at some point, you have to wonder if that’s going to catch up with him. I don’t know if it will but it’s reasonable for them to want to be prepared to address that. He’s still a young pitcher… you have to be careful.

    I don’t know why any fan would want to seee Pedro do poorly… why would you assume that he’s going to get bombed and only go five innings??? Put your guard down… let it happen. Why root against guys on your team? Just so you can say, “I told you so.” That sounds absurd, to me. As long as the guys on this 5 man rotation are getting it done, they’re going to remain on this 5 man rotation… Pedro’s probably a long way away from replacing anyone at this point but if he gets a start, don’t write him off.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    First off Johnny Lee’s era is 3.14 in the american league. Maybe you should do some research since you quoted his career era not current. His Career is a little inflated given one mad injury racked year.

    Not sure what team you’re pulling for, but I can tell you this. No matter who you are in the National League you are afraid of the Phils new rotation.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    That’a boy Johnny. You tell’em. By the way. I’m meeting you wife for coc-k-tails after work. But I promise I’ll have her home to you by Sunday nite.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    JohnnyBgood, “sloppy seconds” You make it sound like Cliff Lee sucks? Is it really possible to that Halladay is really THAT much better than Lee to say sloppy seconds? Also might want to check you stats there. Lee’s ERA is 3.14 NOT 4.01. Also since 2007, his ERA and win W’L is MUCH BETTER after the All Star Break, then before (around 2.69 and 21-4 or soemthing similar). So welcome to this thing called baseball, and get your stats correct before trying to be an analyst.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Highfive Brian nice to see someone else right ontop of the stat corrections.

  • Posts: 0 Terrence

    Just in case anyone did not know Pedro Martinez starts for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tonight at Coca Cola Park against the Columbus Clippers who will start former Iron Pigs Lou Marson and Jason Donald.

    Oh did I forget to mention the pitching matchup is Pedro vs Carlos Carrasco.

    So the former member of the Phillies organization takes on Pedro. Well thats a nice matchup.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    If Myers wants to start, there’s no way that he re-signs with the Phils… I think that he can still start. He might have to take a one-year deal somewhere but he could help a team looking for a solid #3/4. If he wants to be a reliever, there might be a place for him here but he’ll have to accept a discount. He won’t be starting here, that’s for sure… there is already a logjam with this rotation in 2010; we’ll have Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Happ, Moyer and potentially Drabek… that’s not including Bastardo, Carpenter, Kendrick or any other minor leaguers that might be able to vie for a roster spot.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    I checked some other stats out for you Johnny, Lee has givin up 10 homers with 107 SO and 33 walks in 152 innings. Happ in 106 innings has given up 12 homers, Hamels in 118 IP has givin up 18 Homers, and Halladay in 148 Homers has givin up 11 homers. See these are these things called stats, or statistics. Is Halladay better than Lee, probably a little better, but is Lee “sloppy seconds” no.

  • Posts: 0 Groty

    Myers and Charlie have already said he’s in the pen. There is no way for him to build up to throwing as a starter.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    The Original Chuck P, I think its a little early to really say that Myers wont sign here if he wants to start. If I remember correctly, Lee’s contract is up this year, we only have him on the current contract for the remainder of this season. Also though Moyer signed a 2 year deal, will he actually return to play next season or retire? Will Happ continue on his current tear? So if I am correct about Lee for his contract, we may NOT have him in 2010, thats one gone, but lets not forget about the other possibilities. Im not saying you are wrong, but I am thinking it way to early to say that seeing how good Myers has been for us. Cholly is loyal to his players, and Myers is one of them.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    For this season I agree groty, but what about next season. I think its tough to say he wont stay.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    I think we have forgotten that both the Phillies and Jays are staying at the same hotel this weekend. Phillies are closet to the Jay’s brass than any other MLB team. So if anybody makes a last push for Doc it’s the Phils.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Brian- Lee is a free agent after next season… $8 million club option for 2010, which the Phillies will surely pick up unless something goes drastically wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Chuck P, My bad, your right, my bad, sorry. I think the other questions still remain.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I just find it hard to believe that this team would re-sign Myers to any deal that he (and his agent) would agree to knowing that their top 4 starters are pretty much set in stone; Hamels, Lee, Blanton and Happ. How much are the Phillies going to be willing to pay for a 5th starter? Nowhere near the $12 million that he is making now (to sit on the DL)… that’s for sure…

    It reminds me the Pat Burrell situation; thanks for the memories… certainly nothing personal… it’s a business decision.

  • Posts: 0 Terrence

    Detroit Tigers acquire Jarrod Washburn from Mariners for Luke French and another prospect according to ESPN Radio.

  • Posts: 0 Terrence

    Detroit Tigers acquire Jarrod Washburn from Mariners for Luke French and Mauricio Robles according to ESPN Radio.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Terrence – that move makes me like the Lee move even more… French was doing good things in the big leagues. He’s not a prospect… he’s MLB ready talent. Washburn has not shown the consistency of Cliff Lee and he’s a free agent after this season.

  • Posts: 0 Terrence

    There could be a 3 way deal between Indians, Red Sox and another team which would send Victor Martinez to the Red Sox.

    Marlins no longer in pursuit of Heath Bell. For them its Nick Johnson or nothing.

    Red Sox still remain in Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez and Roy Halladay.

    Rangers came closer than the Phils to acquire the Doc but talks have broken off. Still someone could come last minuted to acquired doc like last year lad acquired manny last minute before deadline. Still looking like no one. Phils could make a offer because both teams staying in same hotel today and ruben could meet face to face.

    Angels are in the lead to get Heath bell.

  • Posts: 0 Loy

    From David Cohen of Good Phight (obiviously a joke)

    The Cliff Lee Effect: The Phillies Are Falling Apart

    Widely hailed as a coup for Ruben Amaro, it appears that the Cliff Lee trade is not having the effect anyone expected it to have. There are creeping concerns that the Phillies have gotten complacent now that they have the 2009 Cy Young Award winner on their roster. And, there’s good reason for these concerns. Just check out the statistics:

    Win percentage: Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies had a win percentage of almost .600 (.592 to be exact). Since the trade, the Phillies are on a historic pace to win 0 more games the rest of the season, as their win percentage is .000. That’s worse than the Nationals!

    Runs scored: Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies led the NL in runs scored with 537. In fact, only two other teams in the league that uses the DH had scored more runs than the Phillies. The Phils were averaging a torrid 5.5 runs per game. But now, since the Cliff Lee trade, the team is averaging only 1 run per game. And since the trade, they’ve been outscored by every team in baseball other than the Pirates, Rays, and Blue Jays — all teams that have played half the games the Phillies have!

    RS/RA percentage: Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies had the best run differential in all of baseball at +83. They scored 18% more runs than their opponents. However, since Lee became a Phillie, the Phillies have been decimated by their opponents. Opposing teams have scored 450% more runs than the Phillies have. It’s as if the pitching staff was made up of all Adam Eatons and the hitters were all Endy Chavez.

    Runs against: Cliff Lee was supposed to help the pitching. Yet, he’s done just the opposite. Before the trade, the Phillies were giving up 4.6 runs per game, comfortably in the middle of the pack in the majors. But, since the trade, they’ve given up almost a run more per game, at 5.5. Giving up runs like this will completely neutralize the Phillies’ greatest asset, their offense, which scores just a hair under 5.5 runs per game. In fact, if the Phillies are giving up 5.5 and scoring just under 5.5, there’s no chance of winning another game all season.

    Cliff Lee seems like a nice guy. He had a great year last year and was doing more of the same this year. However, since his trade, he has completely destroyed the once proud 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.

    With the non-waiver trading deadline still yet to pass, thank goodness we still have time to trade him away.

    If you’re not worried about what Lee has done to this team, you’re really turning a blind eye to a glaring problem. I mean, just look at the math. They’re giving up 5.5 runs per game but scoring just about 5.45 (or just 1.0 now!). That means ZERO wins from here on out. Are you willing to live with that?!?!?!

    They’re scoring 1.0 runs per game since they got Lee! That’s not sustainable! I just can’t believe the negative impact he’s having on Howard, Ibanez, Rollins, Werth, and Utley. The man is a pariah in the dugout, obviously!!!

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Lee is a Type A (if Lee walks, Phils get acquiring team’s first round pick and supplemental pick)
    Washburn is a Type B (supplemental pick only)

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    I would think Moyer might re think his second year of this deal, retire and get paid really well as a pitching coach, or advisor, I would not be surprised if they sign Myers if he proves he will be able to start next year, and if Moyer retires, your rotation would be Hamels-Myers-Lee-Blanton-Happ. That order just to split up the three lefties, and cause I like the L-R-L-R-L it just looks so nice. I do think Myers would have to sign a one year deal for less than what Lee is making, and I think he might, But if things do not fall in place I would have to agree with the orignail Chuck and say thaks Brett we will always remember you for 2008, good luck, and no bad feelings

  • Posts: 0 Terrence

    wow, its only been two games and david cohen is already saying its hurting the team. Everybody goes in a slump once in a while and not to mention they have played 13 consecutive games and have played 15 games in 16 days since the ASG. Luckily monday is a day off.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Why can’t the Phils sign Doc? Would the move threaten our status with the United Nations or something? If we win the WS this year Lee/Doc trade value gpes way up. We trade one of them for in the off season for a couple solid but obviously not studly prospects unless there’s a sucka. The New York Mets?

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    I know everyone says the Mets farm stinks. But there has to be at least a couple of good ones.

  • Posts: 0 Dhall

    Counting on Myers to help is ridiculous. “Patience wearing thin with Lidge?” That’s an understatment. I have no faith in the guy right now. Romero is wild, Durbin is hurt and Madson can’t close games. If Lidge doesn’t get straightened out and Myers is not ready, who will close games for the Phillies? The Phillies should have traded for a reliever with closer experience. They missed the boat and it very well may cost them another title. The Dodgers traded for Sherrill this week. Sorry, but our bullpen is not nearly as good as LA’s.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Dhall: All true. That guys a Lefty too. BUt it ain’t 4:01est yet. Doc/Lee/Hamels/Blanton makes us feel a whole lot better. T-minus… RA. Get Doc and shock the Free World!

  • Posts: 0 Delaware Jim

    We should just use Myers as a pinch hitter whenever we need a clutch walk.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Swing for the fences RA. Like you left #$%! depended on it.

  • Posts: 0 John Kruk

    Dude you couldn’t find a better analogy than that one….

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    It’s not going to happen, Repeat but we can dream… and dream I will…

    Let’s assume that the owners are happy and unwilling to spend anymore cash… we could still make a run at Halladay if we could somehow unload Myers’ money and maybe there is someone out there willing to take Myers’ contract (since he’s a free agent after this season; they would have to have a contract that they would want to trade). It might have to be a three way deal… Bottom line: if we were OK with taking on Halladay’s contract, we can afford to take add at least another $8 million in salary (that is the difference between Lee/Francisco contract and Halladay’s). So if you want to add Halladay, you’ll probably have to unload $7-8 million. If we add Halladay, we’ll certainly have to get rid of a starter… can’t have a 7 man rotation.

    Send Myers and a couple of prospects (one low level and one mid tier) to a losing team for a reliever/bench bat (someone making $4-5 million per year… someone who is not cheap to them but not really helping a losing club) and cash… make Toronto send them the cash (principle). Then you send Happ, Taylor or Brown and a filler or two for Halladay. Take it or leave it… you lost your chance on Drabek, you lost your chance on a fourth prospect but you can still get Happ and Brown.

    Lee, Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and a one-armed circus clown could probably win us a World Series.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Not sure if this is new News, or old News .. but the Detroit Tigers traded for Jarrod Washburn

    Giving them a nice staff along with Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Armando Gallaraga, and Rick Porcello … they could be dangerous…

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