Tag: Brett Myers

Dominant Would-Be Relievers Being Wasted in MLB Rotations

A team paying a pitcher $5 million for 180-200 innings gets more value for their money than one paying the same amount for 70 innings. So it stands to reason that so many teams are insisting pitchers stay in the rotation as long as their performance is tenable.

Unfortunately, this means many teams miss out on potential dominance from those pitchers over shorter stretches. For some, this is due to the restraint needed to stretch one’s effectiveness out over 100 pitches. While they may be dominant giving 100 percent, they can only give 80 percent to last that long.

For others, they have only two effective pitches, which is enough for one or two innings, but starters usually need three to turn over a lineup twice. These pitchers would be much better off used in the ‘pen, but of course, the value of raw innings pitched will keep them slaving away in the rotation.

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Indians: Backup Plans If Myers Is Not the Innings-Eater Terry Francona Wanted

Brett Myers was added to the rotation this offseason when Cleveland ownership ponied up for the relief pitcher-turned starter-turned relief pitcher with a one-year, $7 million deal with an $8 million team option for 2014. Myers wanted to start and he’ll have every opportunity to do so in Cleveland.

In 2010 and 2011, the last two years that Myers was a starter, he posted a 21-22 record and 3.79 ERA over 439.2 innings for the Houston Astros. However, in 2012, Myers made 70 appearances and tossed just 65.1 innings between Houston and the Chicago White Sox.

He has made the transition from the rotation to the bullpen once before, having spent the 2002 through 2006 seasons as a starting pitcher in Philadelphia before being moved to the bullpen in 2007, then back to the rotation in 2008. But, what happens if he isn’t the pitcher that the Cleveland Indians were hoping for?

As of right now, the Indians starting rotation will consist of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Myers, Zach McAllister and Carlos Carrasco, as those are the first five listed on the team’s depth chart on their website.

The team has faced some lackluster performance and injuries in the past, just look at how Jimenez has worked out since being acquired in July of 2011 (13-21, 5.32 ERA), but who are the alternatives for the steady veteran, Myers, if he just can’t do it in 2013?

Let’s take a look at the Cleveland Indians rotation depth.

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Cleveland Indians: What Can Terry Francona Expect from New Indians Pitcher Myers

Brett Myers may not be Zack Greinke, David Price or, even, Justin Masterson, but the signing of a veteran, free agent starter was fantastic news for Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and the fans of the team.

After a miserable 2012 season from the starting rotation, the third worst ERA among staffs in baseball (5.25 ERA), could things have really gotten any worse for the Tribe starters looking forward to 2013?

With pretty incredible regressions from both Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, along with a total implosion by Derek Lowe after June 1, which resulted in his release, the Indians had to do something to mix-up the starting five. While Myers is a solid addition, the club still lacks a true, dominant starter, which is troublesome with the Detroit Tigers possessing Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, any of whom would probably slot into the Opening Day job if they were to join the Indians.

What exactly does Myers bring to the table for Francona, though?

A huge frame. Myers is listed at 6’4″, 240 pounds, a tremendous, ideal frame for an innings-eating starting pitcher. It is a good thing that Myers has that frame, as well, as he has moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and back to the starting rotation in a couple of instances during his 11-year career.

Reliability. Myers has missed 159 games in his career—from May of 2007 through October of 2009—due to hip surgery and a shoulder strain. Other than those two stints on the disabled list, he has started 30 or more games in seven seasons. Of the four seasons that he did not reach 30 starts, one was his rookie season (12 starts), one was his 2009 season and the other two seasons he was a relief pitcher. He has tossed 190 or more innings in six of his seven full seasons as a starting pitcher (only Masterson did that in 2012 with his 206.1 innings).

A solid track record. Myers is 89-79 with a 4.27 ERA in 249 career starts, averaging more than six innings per start with his 1,560 innings pitched. If the Indians were to fall out of contention or decided to trade Chris Perez, Myers could slide into the closer’s role due to his success out of the bullpen (3.36 ERA and 40 saves in 128 games).

While giving a pitcher that only tossed 65.1 innings over 70 games a $7 million contract and hoping he can throw 200 innings the next year seems crazy, Brett Myers is a gamer, who has filled various roles over his career. He has pitched in the World Series, he has closed games, he has set-up and he has been an ace (finishing 10th in NL Cy Young voting as a member of the Houston Astros in 2010).

Terry Francona and the Indians will hope that Brett Myers is able to handle another transition from the bullpen to the rotation, and if history repeats itself, the Tribe will be rewarded with their gamble.

Myers is a solid No.3 starter who should not be miscast as a savior to the Indians rotation; however, he adds depth to a group that was clearly in need of an upgrade, and if nothing more, Myers will be a solid, innings-eater every fifth day for Terry Francona.

Brett Myers was a bargain at $7 million for 2013, and if he performs well, an $8 million team option for 2014 will be icing on the cake.

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Brett Myers Acquired, Gives Chicago White Sox Bullpen Versatility

The Chicago White Sox bullpen just got an injection of veteran presence in the last few hours. Two moves on Saturday have given Matt Thornton some more experienced compatriots for the late innings.

MLB.com is reporting a trade with the Houston Astros that sees the White Sox pick up 31-year-old reliever Brett Myers in exchange for a pair of farmhands and a player to be named later. The move gives Chicago an experienced closer who could be used in a variety of situations.

Myers, who has been a starter for much of his big-league career, had 19 saves in 21 opportunities for the Astros. He is carrying a 3.52 ERA and an 0-4 record. Taking away a June 18 performance in which he gave up five runs against Kansas City, his ERA drops to 2.10 in his other 34 games.

The White Sox could use Myers in tandem with rookie Addison Reed in the ninth inning if they don’t choose to anoint him as the team’s closer.

Either way, the end of the pitching staff just got deeper heading into the stretch run.

The return of Jesse Crain from the DL this weekend, along with news that Gavin Floyd is eyeing a Monday return, is good news for the White Sox. Reed and Nate Jones can be used in fewer pressure situations. Skipper Robin Ventura has more experienced arms at his disposal.

At this time of year, that’s a good thing.

Kenny Williams gets some early props for going out and improving the club without forking over any top prospects. Righty Matt Heidenreich and lefty Blair Walters were both low-minors pitchers who didn’t figure into Chicago’s plans for several years.

The fact that Williams has obtained Kevin Youkilis and Myers for relatively little keeps the possibility open for additional moves. With some question marks in the rotation, Williams could add a solid arm for the final two months of the season.

Myers is making $11 million in 2012, but at least a part of his remaining salary is being paid by Houston. If Myers finishes 16 games with the White Sox, a $10 million vesting option kicks in for 2013. If that mark is reached, the White Sox can buy out Myers for $3 million.

Myers saved 21 games with the Phillies back in 2007, but this is his first time closing since then.

If he can bring his game over to a close division race after toiling for a last-place Astros club, Williams will have potentially made another big move toward winning the AL Central.

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Chicago White Sox Acquire Brett Myers in Trade with Houston Astros

The Chicago White Sox have pulled off a trade to get right-handed pitcher Brett Myers from the Houston Astros.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the deal via Twitter.

Major League Baseball detailed what the Astros received in return.

The White Sox currently hold a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central and their relievers have an ERA of 4.01 this season, which ranks third from the bottom in the American League. Myers will bolster the team’s bullpen.

As Chris Cwik of CBS Sports notes, Myers’ contract earns him $11 million this season and includes a $10 million team option for next year, as well as a $3 million buyout clause.

Myers started his major league career in 2002 as a starting pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent time as a closer with the Phillies, but returned to a starting role when he signed with the Astros in 2010.

He started 33 games in both 2010 and 2011 for Houston, but the team designated him as the closer for this season.

Myers started off on fire and was nearly untouchable in his first 17 save opportunities. As noted by Chip Bailey of the Houston Chronicle, he had a 1.99 ERA and recorded 16 saves.

He has been unable to keep that pace and currently has 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA. He has 20 strikeouts and six walks in 30.2 innings pitched.

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is on July 31, and the White Sox addressed a team weakness in order to make a push for the postseason.

Houston is in last place in the NL Central and was looking to sell off tradable assets, making the trade a mutually beneficial transaction.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Astros Closer Brett Myers Sure to Be Hot Commodity

Raise your hand if your team has been hit by the injured closer epidemic spreading like wildfire around Major League Baseball this season.

Most of you should have your hands up, for what it’s worth.

That’s why teams willing to sell at the trade deadline this year might be able to acquire premium returns for their closers. One such team might be the Houston Astros, and one such player could be Brett Myers.

General manager Jeff Luhnow had the following to say to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

“I think late this summer there will be demand for some of our players,” Luhnow said. “We’ll have those conversations. But right now, we’re not actively pushing anything.”

“Our veteran players are contributing. Wandy is pitching like a No. 1. Myers is pitching like an elite closer. Carlos has played a good first base. Lyon has been solid in the bullpen. We need those guys right now. I’m not in any rush to have any conversations about our veteran players.”

Surely, there will be a market for Myers. Think of the teams that have already seen injuries to their closers.

The San Francisco Giants have lost Brian Wilson for the year. Ditto for the New York Yankees and Mariano Rivera, though at least they have David Robertson to fill in.

The Washington Nationals are without Drew Storen and Brad Lidge. Huston Street is injured for the San Diego Padres. Kyle Farnsworth hasn’t yet pitched this season for the Tampa Bay Rays. Andrew Bailey will miss half of the year for the Boston Red Sox. Sergio Santos of the Toronto Blue Jays is still out.

Before the season even began, the Cincinnati Reds lost Ryan Madson and the Kansas City Royals lost Joakim Soria to Tommy John surgery.

And let’s not forget about the disappointing seasons of Heath Bell (Miami Marlins), Carlos Marmol (Chicago Cubs), Jordan Walden (Los Angeles Angels) and Javy Guerra (Los Angeles Dodgers).

Starting to see how appealing Brett Meyers could look for a contender as we get deeper into the summer?

I don’t ever recall a season with this much closer turmoil, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Luhnow put it out there that he would listen to offers as the trade deadline approaches. He knows darn well there will be a market for late-inning arms soon enough.


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Houston Astros: 7 Reasons Astros Would Be Crazy to Not Trade Brett Myers

Houston Astros fans were surprised when Brad Mills announced Brett Myers would be the Astros’ primary closer heading into the 2012 season. The biggest reason was Myers was expected to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the rotation; a rotation that was atrocious last year.

Well it is hard to argue with Brad Mills’ decision thus far as the rotation is much improved and Myers has looked pretty impressive in the early parts of the season. Myers has converted both save opportunities and hasn’t given up a run yet in three appearances.

According to Mark Berman’s tweet, GM Jeff Luhnow has stated that he is not shopping Brett Myers. While it is nice to see an organization be loyal to a player, it is a mistake not to move Myers this season and sooner rather than later. 

These are the seven best reasons to move closer Brett Myers.

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Hector Santiago and 3 Other Must-Add MLB Closers for Your Fantasy Team

So, you spaced on the day of your fantasy draft and auto-drafted four catchers, ten starters and no closers.

Or maybe you drafted Andrew Bailey, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Thornton and Joakim Soria. Have no fear.

While none of these relievers are fantasy studs, saves are a hot commodity, and astute waiver wire pickups can make all the difference over the long fantasy season.

The discerning save vulture can still make a run at the fantasy title, but you have to strike while the iron is hot and add these closers immediately.

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Houston Astros: Why Brett Myers Would Best Serve Team as a Starter, Not Closer

With your guess being as good as mine for the makeup of the Houston Astros’ starting rotation in 2012, Brett Myers has one of the few pitching positions locked in as the closer for this season.

If the Astros were smart, however, they would rethink their decision on Myers’ role.

Let’s be honest for a moment. The Astros will not only be hanging out towards the bottom of the NL Central this September, but more than likely the entire National League. In the midst of a full scale rebuilding of the roster, not much is expected of this team. Full of youth and hopefully a promising future, pundits will not exactly be calling for anyone’s head this season if the team does not produce.

I’ve read projections from various sources saying this team will finish with about 100 losses in a best case scenario, with more pessimistic sources projecting as many as 120.

For the following reasons, I believe that Myers is a better asset to the team as a starter rather than a closer, and that such a role would also benefit him in the long run.

In 2011, during the worst season in franchise history, the Astros’ bullpen accumulated a total of 25 saves. Keep in mind that a number of these saves came despite the contributions of offensive talents such as Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee.

Lee, who drove in 94 runs last year, will not duplicate that performance in 2012. While he is still the best bat in the lineup, he will not have the benefit of speed guys such as Pence and Bourn (both of whom were traded last season) getting on base and rounding the diamond in front of him in 2012.

This team is substantially less talented on the offensive side this year, and run production (the Astros scored 615 runs and allowed 796 runs last season) will drop significantly even from the woeful production of 2011.

Less runs scored means less leads late in ballgames. Less leads means less save opportunities and less save opportunities successfully converted.

I’m not saying that moving Myers to the starting rotation is going to fix any of these problems. As a starter rather than a reliever, here is how Myers could benefit the team.

He will be on display. Teams will be able to see what Myers brings to the table, and more importantly, decide what they would be willing to give up to bring him to their roster.

If Myers were a starter, he could log anywhere between 55 to 90 innings during the first half of the season. As a reliever, you could see him in as little as 15 to 20 innings before the July 31st trade deadline.

As detailed above, the Astros are not in a position to win in 2012. Wouldn’t it make more sense to display the veteran talents of your roster as frequently as possible in hopes of a proposed trade to acquire more prospects for the future?

Myers could be a fifth starter for a solid playoff rotation, and he could become the third or fourth starter for a team lacking depth but having a solid lineup. As a reliever, Myers has a 3.41 ERA in 58 career appearances. As a starter, he has a 4.27 ERA in 249 career starts.

If I were the GM of a team preparing for a playoff push, what sounds more valuable? A guy with a mediocre ERA in the bullpen? Or a guy who could approach the 200 IP mark as a starter and preserve the health of a bullpen?

Let’s face facts, folks. When the Astros becomes competitive, Myers will not be a member of the roster. If the Astros were smart, they would display his talents while they were still valuable as a starter and get as much for him on the trade market as they possibly could.

Follow Brandon Wheeland on Twitter now @BrandonWheeland for the perfect mixture of news, opinions, and sports satire

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Brett Myers: Why Yesterday’s Quality Start Shows Signs of Upcoming Trouble

By all accounts Brett Myers pitched a strong seven innings for the Astros during yesterday’s disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Myers threw a quality start, pitching seven innings and allowing two earned runs on three hits, three walks and no strikeouts. However, a closer look at yesterday’s box score, radar gun and pitch/FX data show that Myers’ stuff may have regressed. 

Myers threw 85 pitches during his seven innings and recorded one swing and miss the entire game on a 88 mph fastball to Ben Francisco during the seventh inning. Myers does not throw a dominant fastball, but the fact he could not get a one single swing and miss on a slider or curveball is troublesome. Last season, Myers recorded a swinging strike percentage of 8.6. Yesterday’s total was 2.2 percent.   

Both his slider and curveball were instrumental to his success in 2010. The pitch/FX data indicates that both pitches had approximately two inches less horizontal break. He threw 18 total sliders (one hit for a double) and 13 total curveballs (one hit) without one swing and miss. However, Myers had good command of his slider, 66 percent were strikes, but he could only get his curveball over 30 percent of the time.  

Myers’ fastball was noticeably below average during yesterday’s start. He averaged 87.1 mph on a combination of fastballs, a number down more than two mph from last season (89.3 mph). Along with the velocity troubles, Myers struggled to locate the pitch, only getting them over for a strike at a 44 percent rate. Myers threw his changeup with more velocity during yesterday’s game (82.9 mph) than his 2010 average (82.5 mph). The lack of differential between the pitches causes some concern. 

It is one start in April, and some of my detractors might argue that he still provided a quality start, but anyone who witnessed the performance knows that Myers got away with some poor pitches. Citizens Bank Park or Minute Maid Park won’t be so forgiving in the summer months.   

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