Sports Outside the Beltway

Manuel puts Myers in Pen

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been a quick trip from staff ace to the bullpen for Brett Myers.

In a surprising decision that manager Charlie Manuel hopes will bolster his relief corps, the Philadelphia Phillies moved Myers from the rotation to a setup role in the bullpen Wednesday and put Jon Lieber in the rotation.

Myers, 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in three starts this season, will mostly be used in the seventh or eighth innings. The right-hander also could see work as a closer when Tom Gordon isn’t available, Manuel said.

“Myers gives us a bigger arm at the back end of our bullpen,” Manuel said.

Myers led the Phillies in wins (12), ERA (3.91), starts (31) innings (198) and strikeouts (189) in 2006, then signed a $25.75 million, three-year contract during the offseason

Lieber expressed disappointment when, late in spring training, the Phillies said he’d begin the season as a reliever instead of a starter. He’s allowed three runs in 2 1-3 innings this season out of the bullpen.

This is a serious move, not just desperation, of panic by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Brett Myers is the Phillies stud ace. He, as the article above reads, led the Phillies in wins, ERA, strikeouts, starts, and innings pitched. He also signed a 3 year contract for $25.75M in the offseason, not to be a middle reliever (he pitched 1 inning last night and gave up 2 hits while striking out 1), but to be the ace of this staff. Myers has not faired well so far as a starter (9.39 ERA) but he has struck out 19 in 15.1 innings pitched. He pitched much better than his ERA suggested and should still be in the starting rotation.

The Phillies sit at the bottom of the National League and have the worst record in the majors (3-10), even lower than the Washington Nationals. Charlie Manuel blew up on a radio host and challenged him to a fight, and is about to blow it as the manager of the Phillies.

The Phillies have dynamic offesnse that hasn’t shown us anything yet, Pat Burrell is hitting .341 while Howard is at .213 and Utley at .222. Ryan Howard also left the game last night in the 10th with left knee injury but it’s said to be nothing serious.

The Phillies are struggling and Charlie Manuel is feeling the pressure all around. Things better turn around soon or he and the Phillies will be in serious trouble.


-Mark Buehrle threw the season’s first no-hitter. He did it without throwing a single pitch over 90 and faced the minimum 27 hitters with only 26 official at-bats (he walked Sammy Sosa and quickly picked him off). Incredible feat, this should help his resume seeing as how he is in a walk year.

-Rich Harden and Felix Hernandez are both battling injuries and Howie Kendrick just landed on the DL and is going to be out 4-6 weeks. Sad news for those of us (me included) who drafted him in fantasy leagues.

-Alex Rodriguez continued his tear last night, belting his 9th homer of the year and raising his RBI total to 23.

-Carlos Zambrano has not pitched well in his walk year. He is 1-2 so far and has an ERA of 7.77 with a 1.86 WHIP, opponents are hitting .357 off of him when they put the ball in play, and he has walked 16 batters in 22 innings. Not the way you want to pitch when you are in a walk year.

-On the other side of the green Matt Cain is nearly unhittable. He has only allowed 8 hits in 20 innings while striking out 17. Sadly though he is 0-1 with an ERA of 1.80.

-Brewers starter Claudio Vargas has 22 strikeouts against only 2 walks in only 13 innings!

-Since when did Orlando Hudson become a stud #3 hitter? He is hitting .387 with 2 homers, 9/9 BB/SO ratio, with 13 runs and 12 RBI. Who woulda thunk it!

-Josh Hamilton is tied for 3rd in the NL in homers with 4 in only 26 at-bats. Not bad for a guy who has missed over 3 years. What a story he has been!

-Speaking of people having bad seasons in walk years, Andruw Jones is hitting .180 with 16 stikeouts in 14 games. Mike Cameron is hitting .155 with one extra base hit (a double) and 15 strikeouts in 14 games. Jermaine Dye has 3 homers but no other XBH and is hitting only .214 with 12 strikeouts in 12 games.

-If you haven’t noticed yet, Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler is tearing the cover off the ball. He has 7 homers and is hitting .333 (including 12-28 after starting out 2-14). He has also knocked in 13 and scored 12.

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