Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Breaking down the Myers move: FAQs

1. How long will he be down in the minors?

Breaking down the Myers move: FAQs

1. How long will he be down in the minors?

Manager Charlie Manuel at first said he thought Myers would be in the minors for three or four starts, but later he wouldn't rule out a return before the All-Star Break. Pat Gillick said he didn't know how long, "two, three maybe four starts" he said, maybe longer.

2. What the heck is wrong with him?

Seems the problem is three-fold. First, his fastball isn't what it used to be velocity wise. This in and of itself isn't a fatal problem. Plenty of pitchers throw in the high 80's and have success. But Myers has also lost control of that fastball, leading to pitches over the plate that opponents are killing (See Kinsler, Ian). Part of the problem is mechanical, at least according to Gillick and pitching coach Rich Dubee. Part of it is mental - if Brett tries to overthrow to get that velocity back, it affects his command. Problem is, trying to fix things in the middle of a major league season is like trying to do a wheel alignment on a car moving 60 miles an hour.

3. Who will replace him?

Nobody seems to know yet. I'd put my money on a minor league pitcher, likely J.A. Happ. Not that J.A. Happ is The Answer, but he is scheduled to pitch for Lehigh Valley Thursday, and he has pitched well this season, leading the International League in strikeouts. Manuel said the Phillies are still mulling their options. What other options they have, i'm not sure. They've sounded very hesitant when asked about giving a start to Chad Durbin. They don't want to mess up a good thing they have going in the bullpen. Also, if you ask Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson to both throw three innings in a game, that kills your bullpen for the future. I don't think Carlos Carrasco is ready.

4. Who will pitch Thursday?

Cole Hamels, per Rich Dubee.

5. Who will pitch Friday?

Likely the starter to be named later, though Jamie Moyer could. Manuel has said he wants Moyer to get as much rest as possible, and starting him Friday wouldn't be taking advantage of the off day earlier this week.

6. Is there any hope for Myers?

I'll let Gillick handle this one: "I think Rich (Dubee) has really diagnosed the problem and Brett has been slow to come around to really (incorporate) the suggestions into his wind up and into his delivery," Gillick said. "Hopefully not being at the major league level and not having the pressure to win, that he can work on the things he needs to work on, which is as I said before, location on his fastball. If he learned to control his fastball, he can be back here really quickly."

7. Could Myers head to the bullpen when he returns?

Only in a worst-case scenario. The Phillies clearly don't want that. For them to be successful, Myers has to be a solid starter, unless Happ or another minor leaguer comes up and sets the world on fire.

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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