Posts Tagged ‘Brett Myers’

Starting Rotation: National League Central

January 22, 2010

Today, I am going to take a look at the starting rotations for each National League Central team.

Pitchers like Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Roy Oswalt call this division home. This division has quality pitchers throughout.

Here are the starting rotations for each National League Central team as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Chris Carpenter, RHP

2. Adam Wainwright, RHP

3. Kyle Lohse, RHP

4. Brad Penny, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation is very top heavy with Carpenter and Wainwright leading the way. Carpenter’s health is key. If he is healthy, the Cardinals will be favorites to win the division. I like the Penny signing. The Cardinals don’t have a candidate for the fifth starter right now, so look for them to sign someone.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Yovani Gallardo, RHP

2. Randy Wolf, LHP

3. Dave Bush, RHP

4. Doug Davis, LHP

5. Jeff Suppan, RHP

Quick Take – With the additions of Wolf and Davis, this rotation is vastly improved from 2009. Wolf and Davis will give the Brewers innings. Look for Gallardo to continue to develop into an ace. Suppan will battle with Manny Parra for the No.5 starter spot.

Chicago Cubs

1. Carlos Zambrano, RHP

2. Ryan Dempster, RHP

3. Randy Wells, RHP

4. Ted Lilly, LHP

5. Tom Gorzelanny, LHP

Quick Take – This might be the most overrated pitching staff in baseball. Dempster has had one good year in the last seven years and was not worthy of his contract. It’s up in the air whether or not Lilly will be ready for Opening Day. I am starting to wonder if all those innings Zambrano threw earlier in his career is coming back to haunt him now?

Cincinnati Reds

1. Bronson Arroyo, RHP

2. Aaron Harang, RHP

3. Johnny Cueto, RHP

4. Homer Bailey, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation will really miss Edinson Volquez in 2010. Volquez might pitch in 2010, but not until towards the end of the season. Arroyo and Harang are prime trade candidates. The Reds’ No.5 starter spot is open right now. I don’t think it will be Aroldis Chapman to start the season.

Houston Astros

1. Roy Oswalt, RHP

2. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP

3. Brett Myers, RHP

4. Bud Norris, RHP

5. Brian Moehler, RHP

Quick Take – From where this rotation was at the beginning of 2009, the Astros have come a long way. Astros need Oswalt to have a bounce back year. Norris showed potential last season, but needs to cut down on his walks and needs to show development next season.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Paul Maholm, LHP

2. Zach Duke, LHP

3. Ross Ohlendorf, RHP

4. Charlie Morton, RHP

5. Kevin Hart, RHP

Quick Take – I really feel bad for Maholm and Duke. If they were on better teams, they would be more recognized and people would know how good they are. Morton came over to the Pirates in the Nate McLouth trade and at 26, he needs to step up and prove he belongs in the major leagues.

Tomorrow, I will have the final installment of this series and take a look at the division where pitching dominates–the National League West.

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Houston Astros Sign Brett Myers

January 9, 2010

Back in January of last year (actually almost one year to the day), I wrote a post “Looking at 2010 to predict 2009.” The idea was to see which players would have a big year in 2009 based on their free agency status after the season ended.

I called this big year the “Adrian Beltre year.”

The pitcher I had targeted to have a big year or an “Adrian Beltre year” was the Philadelphia Phillies’ Brett Myers. Here is what I wrote about Myers last January:

Myers gave up a lot of HR's in 2009

“After being summoned to the bullpen in 2007, Myers had a descent 2008 by going 10-13 with a 4.55 in 190 innings. Like Blalock, there are a couple of things I like about Myers this year.

1. It seems like Myers has been in the majors forever but he is still only 29 years old. The ages of 28 and 29 is usually when a pitcher comes into his own.

2. This will be the first time Myers will be pitching for a free agent contract.

3. Myers will be pitching once again on a good team with a solid bullpen which won’t blow leads for him late in the game.”

Well, things always don’t work out the way you think they would.

Myers struggled in April and May giving up 17 home runs in 63.2 IP, went on the disabled list, ended up having hip surgery, and returned in September only to find himself in the bullpen. Even my thought that the Phillies would have a solid bullpen in 2009 didn’t hold true.

Overall on the season, Myers went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA, gave up 18 home runs in 70.2 innings, and had his lowest K/9 ratio since 2004 (6.4).

Despite having a rough season in 2009, the Houston Astros are hoping Myers can bounce back in 2010. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert, via Twitter, the Astros have signed Myers to a one-year, $5 million deal. The deal also includes an option for 2012.

One of the reasons that Myers signed with the Astros is because the Astros offered him a spot in their rotation. Myers will be the Astros No. 3 starter heading into 2010 behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez. Bud Norris and Felipe Paulino should round out the rotation.

I have my doubts as to whether or not Myers can improve on his gopher ball habits pitching in Minute Maid Park. However, considering the Astros started the 2009 season with Russ Ortiz and Brian Moehler in the starting rotation, Myers does represent an upgrade in 2010.

Myers is the third acquisition the Astros have made to bolster their pitching staff this offseason. Earlier in this offseason, the Astros signed Brandon Lyon and traded for Matt Lindstrom.

Despite their acquisitions to the pitching staff, the Astros still strike me as a fourth or fifth place team in the NL Central. I expect the Astros to finish behind the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and perhaps the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

2009 World Series Preview And Prediction

October 28, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

Schedule

Yankee Stadium

Game One: Wednesday, Oct. 28 7:57 ET. Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia

Game Two: Thursday, Oct. 29 7:57 ET. Pedro Martinez vs. AJ Burnett

Citizens Bank Park

Game Three: Saturday, Oct. 31 7:57 ET. Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels

Game Four: Sunday, Nov. 1 8:20 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Five*: Monday, Nov. 2 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Yankee Stadium

Game Six*: Wednesday, Nov. 4 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Seven*: Thursday, Nov 5 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

* If necessary

Umpires

Gerry Davis (crew chief), Joe West, Dana DeMuth, Brian Gorman, Mike Everitt, Jeff Nelson

Roster Changes

Phillies – In: Brett Myers. Out: Miguel Cairo

Yankees – In: Eric Hinske, Brian Bruney. Out: Freddy Guzman, Francisco Cervelli

Cliff Lee2

Lee will take the ball in Game One

Matchups

Yankee hitters vs. Lee, Martinez, and Hamels – .269/.327/.444

Philly hitters vs. Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte – .249/.281/.417

Preview

At 7:57 ET tonight, the Phillies and the Yankees will officially begin the 2009 World Series or “The worst case scenario for New York Mets fans.”

Not only do the Mets suffer one of their worst seasons in franchise history, but now they have to watch their hated division rival and hated cross-town rival in the World Series. Talk about a punch to the gut.

Don’t worry Mets fans, you will get through it. As a New York Jets fan, I went through something similar a couple of years ago when the New England Patriots played the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

I rooted for the Giants in that game. I decided there was no way I could ever root for the Patriots under any circumstances. I am getting a sense that most Mets fans are feeling the same way towards the Phillies.

Now let’s talk about the two teams that matter–the Phillies and the Yankees. This will be the first time perhaps since 1999 that the two best teams in baseball are playing each other for the championship.

I have thought long and hard about this series and which direction I want to go. For me, this series comes down to a couple of things.

1. Will the Phillies look like a deer in headlights like the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did? Let’s be realistic here–the Yankees beat both teams because both teams turned into the Kansas City Royals.

It’s not like the Yankees bludgeoned both teams.

The Yankees will always capitalize on errors and bad baserunning. Their lineup is too good not to.

If the Phillies make the same errors and baserunning mistakes the Twins and Angels did–they will lose this series.

2. Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park Scott Eyre, and Ryan Madson vs. Phil Hughes, Domaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain, and David Robertson. This series will be determined mainly by the under-belly of the bullpen–not by the closers.

I laugh when people say the Yankees have the advantage in the pen because of Mariano Rivera. Isn’t that the case with every game of every series the Yankees play in?

Saying the Yankees have an advantage because of Rivera, is like saying the Bulls had an advantage at shooting guard with Michael Jordan. It’s a given.

It’s going to be how the pitchers before Rivera fair that will determine the outcome of the game. In particular, Marte.

Girardi was going to Marte over Phil Coke in the ALCS in late inning situations vs. a left-handed batter. With the way Girardi overmanages, Marte is going to be asked at some point during this series to get Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Raul Ibanez out.

Does any Yankee fan feel confident with first and second and one out in the seventh and Girardi calls on Marte to pitch to Utley and Howard?

Pedro Phillies

Pedro will go in Game Two

3. Can Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels step up? If the Phillies are going to win this series, then one of these guys is going to have to step up. Martinez pitched better than anyone expected in Game Two of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now Martinez is expected to win against the Yankees in Game Two of the World Series. I have my doubts about this move.

Why open up a hornet’s nest by starting Martinez in the Bronx with all his prior history with the Yankees? Martinez is a National League pitcher at this point in his career. Let him start in Game Three or Four against a National League lineup with the pitcher hitting.

If Martinez doesn’t pitch well in Game Two, then the Phillies are going to need Hamels to wake up in Game Three. There is no evidence to suggest that he can.

His fastball is flat, his curveball has no break to it, and his body language on the mound stinks. That’s a recipe for disaster against the Yankees.

4. Will the layoff hurt the Phillies? We saw a long layoff hurt the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007. The Phillies haven’t played since the 21st.

I think for the Phillies, the layoff won’t matter. Remember, they had a long layoff last year going into the World Series and that didn’t affect them at all.

5. Will Girardi Girardi overmange the Yankees out of a World Series title? If Girardi was overmanaging in an American League game, what is going to happen in those three games in Philadelphia? It might get ugly.

Girardi has been bailed out by Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees’ overall talent. What happens when the Yankees don’t bail him out?

Prediction

I have picked against the Phillies all postseason. I have picked the Yankees all postseason. Everything in me is leaning towards picking the Yankees.

They have the better pitching and they will catch a break someone. The inevitable bad call that favors the Yankees will happen somewhere during the series

I’ll keep my trend going.

Yankees in Six

MVP – Mark Teixeira

Also, for those of you in the New York/Long Island area, I will be on AM 1240 WGBB this Sunday night on Sports Talk Live with Frankie The Sports Guy at 10:30 PM ET.

We’ll be talking about the World Series and some other things that are going on in baseball.

Rockies Win Game Two: Leave Philadelphia With A Split

October 9, 2009

The Colorado Rockies traveled to Philadelphia with one goal in mind: Leave the city of brotherly love with at least one win.

Mission accomplished.

The Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 yesterday in a nail bitter to even up their best-of-five series at one game apiece. This was a fascinating game to watch unfold.

This game reminded me a lot of a last week’s University of Washington-Notre Dame football game. Washington had tons of opportunities to put that game away late with touchdowns, but kept settling for field goals. They let Notre Dame stay in the game and in came back to haunt them.

Notre Dame eventually won the game in overtime.

That is how I thought this game would end. The Rockies had so many opportunities in the later innings to put this game away, that when they let the Phillies hang around, I thought the Phillies would steal it late.

But unlike Notre Dame, the Phillies didn’t have the luck of the Irish.

The Rockies jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind Yorvit Torrealba’s two-run homerun and some solid pitching from starter Aaron Cook. Torrealba had himself a great game yesterday. He played winning baseball all game both offensively and defensively.

The Phillies came back with three runs of their own in the sixth inning to make it 4-3. Raul Ibanez highlighted the inning with a two-run single off of reliever Jose Contreras.

I still haven’t figured out why Contreras pitched to Ibanez in that spot.

The Rockies then had opportunities to break this game open in the seventh and eighth innings and failed to do so. They had bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh and only scored one run. They had bases loaded and one out in the eighth and failed to score.

The eighth inning annoyed me more than the seventh inning though. With one out and the bases loaded, Clint Barmes came to the plate against Brett Myers. Myers was all over the place yesterday and yes, I am convinced he hit Troy Tulowitzki on purpose.

Myers couldn’t throw a strike to save his life and what does Barmes do? He swings at two pitches out of the strikezone and grounds to third for a forceout. I like Barmes, but that was one awful at-bat.

The Rockies had the Phillies on the ropes so bad that Charlie Manuel used potential Game Three and Four starters Joe Blanton and JA Happ in relief yesterday. I think Manuel at his old age forgot their were more games left in this series. But the Rockies could never deliver the knockout blow.

Jayson Werth’s homerun in the eighth made it 5-4 and then I was convinced the Phillies would somehow steal this game. The Phillies even got two on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against closer Huston Street.

But Street got Shane Victorino to line weakly to Barmes to end the game. I will say this about Street–he was lucky to get out of that inning with a win. He threw some pitches to Matt Stairs and Jimmy Rollins that were meatballs.

Game Three is scheduled for Saturday at 9:37 ET. However, this game might get frozen out because it’s supposed to be like 14 degrees in Denver on Saturday night. Of course, I will keep you posted to any changes made to the playoff schedule

Looking Back On Some Baseball Bets

October 5, 2009

Before the regular season started, I gave some predictions on some prop bets for the baseball season. Now that the regular season is almost over, I thought it would be a good time today to look back at some of those predictions I made.

All lines were curtesy of Bodoglife.com

Player Bets

Aubrey Huff. Over/Under 23 1/2 Hr’s – I like the Over Huff had 15 Hr’s

Dustin Pedroia. Over/Under 40 1/2 Doubles – I like the Over Pedroia had 48 doubles

Josh Beckett. Over/Under 14 1/2 Wins – I like the Over* Beckett won 17 games

Joba Chamberlain. Over/Under 13 1/2 Wins – I like the Under Chamberlain won 9 games

Derek Jeter. Over/Under .303 average – I like the Over Jeter hit .334

Evan Longoria. Over/Under 107 1/2 RBI – I like the Over Longoria had 113 RBI

BJ Ryan. Over/Under 34 1/2 Saves – I like the Under* Ryan had two saves

Zack Greinke. Over/Under 13 1/2 Wins – I like the Over Greinke had 16 wins

Miguel Cabrera. Over/Under 34 1/2 Hr’s – I like the Over Cabrera has 33 Hr’s

Gary Sheffield. Over/Under 18 1/2 Hr’s – I like the Under Sheffield had 10 Hr’s

Bobby Abreu. Over/Under 99 1/2 RBI – I like the Under Abreu had 103 RBI

Brian Fuentes. Over/Under 32 1/2 Saves – I like the Under Fuentes had 48 saves

Ken Griffey Jr. Over/Under 18 1/2 Hr’s – I like the Under Griffey Jr. had 19 Hr’s

Brett Myers. Over/Under 11 1/2 Wins – I like the Over Myers had four wins

Albert Pujols. Over/Under 117 1/2 RBI – I like the Over Pujols had 135 RBI

Adrian Gonzalez. Over/Under 29 1/2 Hr’s – I like the Over Gonzalez had 40 Hr’s

Randy Johnson. Over/Under 10 1/2 Wins – I like the Under Johnson had eight wins

Team Bets

Tigers. Over/Under 81 1/2 Wins – I like the Under* Tigers will have 86 0r 87 wins

Twins. Over/Under 83 1/2 Wins. I like the Over Twins will have 86 or 87 wins

Braves. Over/Under 84 1/2 Wins. I like the Over Braves won 86

Dodgers. Over/Under 84 1/2 Wins. I like the Over Dodgers won 95

Mets. Over/Under 89 1/2 Wins. I like the Under Mets won 70

Cardinals. Over/Under 82 1/2 Wins. I like the Over* Cards won 91

Giants. Over/Under 80 1/2 Wins. I like the Under Giants won 88

Royals. Over/Under 75 1/2 Wins. I like the Over Royals won 65

* indicates Best Bet

Not bad. I went three out of four on my “best bets.” I was really surprised the Tigers had the year they did. I definitely didn’t see it coming.

Overall, I went 16 for 25. That’s 64 percent for those of you scoring at home. If Cabrera can hit two Hr’s on Tuesday night, I can get up to 68 percent.

I think if you went to Las Vegas and won 64 percent of the time you would take it.

I will revisit the rest of my predictions after the season ends.

Brad Lidge Officially Out As Philadelphia Phillies Closer

September 11, 2009

It was only a matter of time before the Philadelphia Phillies relieved Brad Lidge of his closing duties. Yesterday, it became official. Brad Lidge is out as Phillies closer.

Minutes before last night’s game against the Washington Nationals, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel announced that Lidge will only pitch in “low-stress” situations and Ryan Madson and Brett Myers will share the closer duties until Lidge becomes “right.”

There’s nothing like going into the postseason having no clue who is going to pitch the ninth inning.

The Phillies better figure out who is going to pitch the ninth inning in the playoffs real quick. They have the starting rotation, they clearly have the offense, but if they don’t have the guy to nail the hammer down in the ninth — it could be one and done for the Phillies in the playoffs.

I wrote yesterday, that my guess was Brett Myers would end up closing. If I was Manuel, I would have Myers close and keep Madson in the eighth inning. Madson has been great in the eigth inning and I wouldn’t want to screw around with that.

Will Lidge close again for the Phillies?

“He could close,” Manuel said. “He hasn’t lost nothing. I’m telling you right now, he definitely can still close. I see where he could be our everyday closer again. Yeah, of course.”

Really Charlie? “He hasn’t lost nothing?” I guess Charlie Manuel never heard of the word confidence. Once that goes, you have no shot.

Remember, you can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/theghostofmlg

Thoughts From Around The Majors

September 10, 2009

Like George Costanza, I am back baby!!! I am back in New York City from a fantastic three days in Milwaukee and Iowa/Field of Dreams. I will be doing a full recap of the trip and everything that took place on it tomorrow.

For today, I am going to give some thoughts as to what has been going on in the majors the last couple of days.

Here we go…

Carlos Beltran made his return to the New York Mets on Tuesday. Why? Maybe I am in the minority here, but I really don’t see a reason why Beltran would play these last couple of weeks.

Why is Beltran playing?

Why is Beltran playing?

The Mets are out of the playoff race, so only more harm than good can come out of Beltran playing. What good can come out of this? Beltran gets a couple of more hits or RBI for the back of his baseball card?

If the Mets want to see if he is healthy, they could have waited till the offseason to see that in private workouts.

The Phillies have a massive closer problem. The baseball gods are punishing Brad Lidge for being perfect last season. After not getting the job done against the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, my guess is that Brett Myers becomes the Phillies’ closer.

Congratulations to Derek Jeter. Jeter last night against the Tampa Bay Rays, broke Lou Gehrig’s record for hits by a New York Yankee. While this is great for Jeter, let’s not go crazy here folks.

A. Did anyone ever associate Gehrig with the Yankees’ hit record? And B. When Jeter gets 3,000 hits, it will be a more impressive feat.

Los Angeles Dodgers are hanging on for dear life. Is there any contending team that wants to run out the clock on the regular season faster than the Los Angeles Dodgers?

The Colorado Rockies are on the Dodgers like white on rice. The Dodgers lost the Arizona Diamondbacks last (I will say that Ramon Troncoso had Mark Reynolds struckout three times in that final AB.) and the Rockies are now just 2.5 games behind the Dodgers.

The Dodgers look like first-round fodder for the Phillies or the St. Louis Cardinals at this point.

Tim Lincecum goes down with an injury. I hope Lincecum is okay and by all reports, he is improving. Lincecum missed his last start because of a stiff back.

Lincecum began feeling some tightness in his back when the team returned from Milwaukee. Ironically, my buddy Tom had the same injury returning from Milwaukee.

Coincidence? I think not.

So with the NFL season officially starting today, a lot of people have asked me my predictions for the upcoming season. I know this is a baseball site, but it never hurts to make some predictions…

AFC East

1. New England Patriots

2. Miami Dolphins

3. New York Jets

4. Buffalo Bills

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Cincinnati Bengals – x

3. Baltimore Ravens

4. Cleveland Browns

AFC South

1. Tennessee Titans

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – x

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Houston Texans

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers

2. Denver Broncos

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Oakland Raiders

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles

2. New York Giants – x

3. Dallas Cowboys

4. Washington Redskins

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers

2. Minnesota Vikings – x

3. Chicago Bears

4. Detroit Lions

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Atlanta Falcons

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West

1. Arizona Cardinals

2. Seattle Seahawks

3. San Francisco 49ers

4. St. Louis Rams

x = Wild Card

AFC Championship Game – Patriots vs Chargers

NFC Championship Game – Eagles vs Packers

Super Bowl – Chargers vs Packers

NFL Champions – Chargers

The Philadelphia Phillies Have A Brad Lidge Problem

August 26, 2009
Lidge blew another save last night

Lidge blew another save last night

During the course of a 162 game season, every team faces a huge decision that could potentially shape the course of their season. These decision can come from about 100 different areas.

For the New York Yankees, it was the decision to put Phil Hughes in the bullpen and for the Colorado Rockies it was the decision to fire Clint Hurdle in May. Both decisions have come from the complete opposite end of the spectrum, but both proved to change the course of each of franchise for the better.

I think for the Philadelphia Phillies, they are about to face a huge decision that might have a direct impact on whether or not they will repeat as World Series champs.

Last night Brad Lidge blew is major league leading ninth save in a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lidge came into the game trying to protect a 4-3 Phillies lead and in just three batters later, the lead was gone and the game was over.

Lidge now has a 7.33 ERA, which, amongst relievers with at least 40 innings pitched is dead last in baseball. Everyone knew Lidge would blow a couple of saves this year after going perfect in save opportunities last year, but a 7.33 ERA? That is inexcusable.

 “He’s our closer,” Manuel said. “I’ve said it all over the place. That’s the guy who we’ve got.” I appreciate the loyalty Charlie, but at some point you have to realize there is a massive problem here.

I keep wondering how different Manuel would feel if the Phillies were in a dog fight to make the playoffs.

Perhaps Manuel is waiting for Lidge to turn it around, but in late August/early September, you are what you are. Lidge right now is the worst closer in baseball.

If the Phillies do decide to make a change they have a couple of options. They could decide to use Ryan Madson, who filled in nicely for Lidge when Lidge went on the DL (four saves), or they could use the soon to be returning Brett Myers, who closed for the Phillies in 2007 (21 saves).

The Phillies have the offense and with the addition of Cliff Lee they have the starting rotation. Now they just need to get their Brad Lidge problem straightened out.

If they don’t, they might not make it back to the World Series.

Myers Done For The Season….

May 30, 2009

In the latest injury out of “Hipgate,” Philadelphia Phillies RHP Brett Myers has decided to undergo hip surgery that will keep him out approximately three months. When asked if an autumn return was possible? Myers said it was a “longshot.” Myers joins Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Alex Gordon, Alex Rodriguez, Fausto Carmona and fellow teammate Chase Utley as players who have suffered a significant hip injury in the last 12 months. Something fishy is going on here. 

Myers will be wincing more after hip surgery

Myers will be wincing more after hip surgery

Losing Myers is a big blow to the defending champs already weak starting rotation. Even though Myers has a 4.66 ERA and has given up a major league leading 17 HR’s this year, he still was 4-3  and did provide the Phillies with stability in the rotation during the first month and a half of the season. Phillies rank dead last in the NL in starter’s ERA (5.89), so Myers was pitching better than most of their starters.

In the short term, it looks like the Phillies will call up a starter from their minor league system. GM Ruben Amaro Jr named Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Drew Carpenter, Rodrigo Lopez or Antonio Bastardo as potential options to replace Myers.

In the long term, it’s pretty clear the Phillies will need to make a trade.Buster Olneyin his blog mentioned Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, Erik Bedard, Brad Penny, Zach Duke, Jason Marquis or John Garland could be option for the Phillies. Peavy, Oswalt and Bedard would cost the Phillies a king’s ransom, while Duke, Marquis, Garland and Penny would be much more cost effective options.

It will be interesting to see if the Phillies can weather this storm. JA Happ has pitched well since being moved into the starting rotation, but right now their only reliable starter is Cole Hamels. If you are a Phillies fan, look at it like this. Despite Hamels missing the first month, the starting rotation being the worst in the NL, Lidge being terrible and Jimmy Rollins hitting .227 you are only a half a game out of first place. Pretty encouraging.

Kudos To Jon Heyman…

May 28, 2009

In my “Nolasco Must Be Hurt Update” post, I posed the following question:

“Someone get Tim Kurkjian on phone. Has there ever been a pitcher who won 15 games the year before and was then demoted to the minors the next year? Not sent sent to the minors to recover from an injury, but sent to the minors because of performance. Can anyone think of a pitcher this has happened to?”

Well, I couldn’t get Tim Kurkjian on the phone, nor could I get his email address. So I did the next best thing. I reached out to SI.com’s Jon Heyman and asked him if he could think of a pitcher who won 15 games the year before and was demoted the following year due to performance, not injury.

Here is Heyman’s response to my question:

“I would think so. i have seen brett myers get demoted (did he won 15 the yr. before?). also trachsel and bobby jones, i believe, with mets. But i’d have to look up to see if they had 15 wins. Sometimes they claim an injury. Willis was in minors last year. so in other words, id guess ye, but i dont have the reasearch. best, jon”

So Heyman thinks that this scenario might have happened to Steve Trachsel, Bobby Jones, Brett Myers or Dontrelle Willis. Let’s take a look….

Steve Trachsel – Won 16 games in 2003 and 15 games in 2006 with the Mets. In 2007, Trachsel won a total of seven games with the Orioles and Cubs. Trachsel did sign a minor league deal with the Orioles in 2008, but I don’t recall Trachsel being demoted to the minors as a Met because of performance.

Bobby Jones – Won 15 games in 2007  and in 1999, Jones won three games with the Mets. Jones was demoted to the minors in 2000, but that was two years after winning 15 games. Mets fans still can’t believe Jones threw a 1-hitter in the NLDS against the Giants in 2000.

Brett Myers – Myers was demoted to the minors because of performance in 2008. In 2007, Myers won five games but did have 21 saves for the Phillies.

Dontrelle Willis – Willis was demoted to the minors in 2008 with the Tigers. In 2007 with the Marlins, Willis won 10 games.

So as you can see, we still have not answered my question. Maybe one day we will get the answer or perhaps we already have our answer in Nolasco. Now you are probably wondering why I titled this post Kudos to Jon Heyman? I did so because he took the time out of his day to respond to my question. My buddy Tom wrote Heyman a question too and he responded to him as well. I give Heyman a lot of credit for responding to the questions that fans have. More importantly, you can tell he truly takes the time to try to the answer the question to the best of his knowledge. You don’t find that to often.

This is just another example of the wonders of technology. Inventions like email, allow us to interact with our favorite writers, celebrities or personalities. 20 years ago, I would have had to write Heyman a hand-written note and send it by mail. Talk about time consuming.

If anyone thinks they have an answer to my question, feel free to send me an email at abernacchio77@hotmail.com

You can also follow Jon Heyman on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman