Could Myers Return To Bullpen? – Phillies Nation

Could Myers Return To Bullpen?

Today it was made official that JA Happ is back with the Phillies. He returned with Adam Eaton being sent down to AAA Lehigh Valley.

Meanwhile, the Phils are still searching for pitching help, mainly in the form of a left-handed reliever capable of getting outs late in games.

Happ’s performance both as a Phillie and in the minors make for an interesting subplot that could alter the team drastically. Yesterday on ESPN Radio 950, Jayson Stark told Jody Mac anything was possible with the Phillies’ pitching situation. The thought remains: Could Brett Myers linger back to the bullpen?

While it seems risky and an absolute backtracking, it could solve the Phils very real problem about the bullpen.

Currently, nobody knows the condition of Tom Gordon. He has thrown pitches and is “on the way back,” but there’s no indication he’ll be close to a late-innings guy when and if he returns. Moreover, he wasn’t much of a late-innings guy when he was healthy this season.

JC Romero, being shuttled as a pseudo-all fields-reliever, is ineffective against right-handed hitters. He has to be going against lefties 90 percent of the time.

Chad Durbin, while outstanding all season, shouldn’t be called upon too much in all types of roles. He thrives in the swing position, and you don’t to blow out what has been the Phils’ most reliable arm.

Ryan Madson, as we’ve seen recently, is not a money late-innings pitcher. He was best used in middle relief and is unfairly categorized above that spot in the depth chart.

By placing Myers back in the bullpen, he instantly becomes the eighth-inning bridge. You hope he can channel his best stuff and utilize it for one inning — that is, a lot of curveballs, mixed with some well-placed fastballs and changeups. Obviously, the risk is you basically have a guy as effective as Gordon out there. But all things considered, Myers could thrive in this role.

That move alone pushes the chart back. Romero is your lefty specialist in the late innings, Durbin gets the top middle relief spot and can be used in swing situations, Madson falls into middle relief and Clay Condrey retains the mop-up post. When and if Gordon returns, he could become an experienced fastball/curveball guy for backup purposes.

The Phils can choose to still upgrade with a left-handed reliever, and he would be used along with Romero in an interchangeable situation.

Then, of course, the Phils would have an absolute five-man rotation with not much room for error. Adam Eaton becomes your insurance policy — not the best one to have — unless the front office wants to take a gamble with Carlos Carrasco or someone of that ilk.

There are clear possible benefits and possible pitfalls with moving Myers back to the bullpen, but the question should be raised? Is it worth it?

Click to comment


  1. Josh

    July 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I saw Carrasco pitch last night against the Senators. He pitched 5.2 solid innings with a couple walks, maybe 5ks, 4 hits and 2 runs. He fell apart then, walking the bases loaded before giving up a grand slam. He definitely has good stuff but he’s not ready yet. He probably needs another year and I’d be surprised if he gets called up this year.

  2. Buffalophilsfan

    July 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    When Myers’ work is completed tonight and he has pitched 5 innings and given up 5 runs with 4 walks and 3 K’s, I actually think he would like the shift to the bullpen. He wants to be there and I can’t believe I am saying this, but I agree with you Don M. The 8th inning guy is where he has the best value for this team and would be the most effective. If he is remotely successful he would not only solve one problem with this staff, but he could increase his trade value for the off season. There is no way he is on this team next year because he wants to close and Lidge has that role here for the next 3.

    The other scenerio his move to the set-up role would solve is the #3 starter. JA Happ is a starter in every sense and needs to remain in the rotation. He has above average stuff and has dominated at AAA. His two starts this season with the Phills have been promising. It still leaves the ?? of who else takes the hill with Cole in the playoffs. But lets worry about that when it happens.

  3. J-Man

    July 29, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Tonight is all or nothing for Myers…If he can’t pitch at least 5 or 6 solid innings,send him to the bullpen.

  4. CT

    July 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    According to the Phils site, Happ is going to the BP (at least for now)

  5. Chris C.

    July 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve wanted Myers as a set up for about two months. The whole season he has been pulling in one direction and the front office pushing in the opposite. Too bad it won’t happen.

  6. rob

    July 29, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I absolutely agree that Myers to the bullpen is the correct idea. Let him work in the 8th and the 9th(when lidge needs a break), therefore grooming him as a closer and trade value come the winter.

  7. Paul

    July 29, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I say watch Myers tonight. If he puts it together and pitches well, keep him in the rotation for now. If not, switch him right away to the 8th inning guy.

  8. Wilson

    July 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Put him in the pen

  9. Brett Myers

    July 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Don’t worry, I’ll do fine. It’s all fun and games anyway, right?

  10. Brett Myers

    July 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Please don’t trade me, unless it’s to Boston. Hell, they gave Keith Foulke another shot, why not me?

  11. Brett Myers

    July 29, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I make more than Chad Durbin, Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins alone.

  12. CZ

    July 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm


    Pedro Feliz was just placed on the 15 day disabled list. Back problems are hard to shake off sometimes This may precipitate the need to find a righthanded bat to fill a need.

  13. #1 soul fan

    July 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    happ is not nearly as good as us fans generally seem to think he is and i think the phillies know this. he’s nothing but left handed Kyle Kendrick as the very best. let’s stop getting all excited over him because he made two good starts. Only way Happ replaces Myers in the pen is if myers ERA is over 6.00 over the course of his next 5 starts.

  14. Lapdog Amaro

    July 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Happ could very well solve our catching hitting problems. Working with perhaps some of the coaching, but not to name names, there may be the expectation that JA platoons with the Phanatic. No promises however.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and shine Mr. Giles’ shoes…

  15. Gavin

    July 29, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    We’ll see after tonight where he should be. I dont know if Happ is the long term answer.

    Who’s out there as an option at 3rd?

  16. rob

    July 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Isn’t Adrian Beltre a right handed hitter and 3B. The Mariners proably want way to muc hin return though

  17. Richie

    July 29, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Wait a second, Myers’ problems have been early blow-ups and homeruns let up. That does not spell a good recipe for a set up guy. It seems like he settles down after a few innings most outings and pitches ok, give him a few more chances. Happ has looked good, but whenever pitchers get called up, they always look good because no one has faced him yet. Believe me he is not the next Glavine like most people think.

  18. PhillyGirlinMichigan

    July 29, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I disagree that Chad Durbin thrives in the swing role. That was the worst part of his season last year. He did well starting at the beginning of the year. i think he was 6 -1 in June. Then he did ok as a middle reliever. But when they started switching him back and forth from the rotation to the BP every two weeks, he really started to melt. He appears to thrive in a consistant role. Just because he “can” do the swing role doesn’t mean he should..

    IMHO – Meyers is not pitching well enough this year to help the BP – especially in the late innings.

  19. Jay

    July 29, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    The question remains, if he gets skipped over his next start, how long do you wait to put Happ in the rotation. When will he pitch next. remember he only throw a limited amount of pitches the other day and would not be slated to pitch for another 5 days?

  20. Bruce

    July 29, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Reality check: Myers has another opportunity to continue his improvement with a stronger outing tonight. He has only the manager and the team to impress and not the fans. He should ignore distractions and focus only on helping the team win tonight. A strong outing can do wonders for his confidence and a positive persuation for those who were willing to give him a benefit of a doubt.

    Thoughts of throwing Myers back into the bullpen as if he can adapt (mentally and physically) so readily like a string on a yo yo is baseball fantasy at its’ best played by “GM wanna be’s”. (chuckling)

  21. Geoff

    July 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    its the best option for myers this season. next season, i doubt hell even be here.

  22. Don M

    July 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I dont think there is any question that the Phillies will try to trade Myers in the offseason… I think he was more effective as a closer then he ever was as a Starting Pitcher. And he has said over and over that he would rather be a Closer… I think he goes after this year.. and unless he pitches great tonight, I really wouldn’t be surprised if he gets skipped for Happ in his next start, and takes a bullpen role, with Happ in the rotation soon

  23. Geoff

    July 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    right on

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