Heading out of Pittsburgh early tomorrow morning. . .
Quick preview of what's in the paper tomorrow. . .
The Phillies are concerned about Brett Myers' performance through six starts. So is the pitcher. Myers' velocity has been down significantly from where it usually is. It has been that way all season. Usually, his fastball sits somewhere in the low-to-mid 90's. This season, it has rarely climbed out of the high 80's. Myers says those last few ticks have made him rely more on his cutter, and less on his fastball.
“I haven’t seen a fastball,” Manuel said. “It topped out today at 89. Myers is usually 92-95, somewhere in there. I haven’t seen the fastball since the start of the season.”
Myers seemed frustrated. But pitching coach Rich Dubee said the problem isn't velocity. Instead, it's Myers approach on the mound, as well as his preparation. Dubee said he thinks Myers would benefit from throwing more long toss prior to starts, which he said builds strength and elasticity in the arm. Myers, Dubee said, isn't a big fan of long toss.
Dubee also said he needs to rely on his fastball, even if it isn't as fast as he'd like it.
“I think its as simple as him throwing some more fastballs and him getting out there and playing some more long toss,” Dubee said. “He’s not a real big believer in long toss, and I am. I think that’s one way you develop arm strength and keep some elasticity in your arm. I think its something he’s got to buy into a little bit more.”
Myers, however, said he has been trying to build strength in the arm.
“I’ve been working all season to get it back,” Myers said. “It doesn’t matter how much I run, how much I lift my legs, how many shoulder weights I do, I’m just not getting the zip on the end of it, the explosion. It just kind of comes out of my hand the same speed it gets to the plate. There’s no extra life to it.”