Results tagged ‘ Brett Myers ’

Myers and Hamels: No Confrontation


Thumbnail image for myers speaks.jpgCole Hamels
and Brett Myers are friends.

They hang out at home and on the road. Hamels occasionally drives Myers to the ballpark. They planned to have dinner tonight with their wives in New York.

“He’s my buddy,” Myers said today.

Myers, Hamels and a Phillies official disputed a Yahoo! Sports report that he and Hamels had a “tense confrontation” in the Phillies clubhouse following Game 5 of the World Series. Two media members (here and here) were witnesses and disputed the report.

“The bottom line is nothing happened and nothing ever will happen between us,” Myers said.

“People don’t understand how easy-going both of us are and what good friends both of us are,” Hamels said. “I didn’t even know this had turned into a big deal until about 10 minutes ago. I actually had called Brett this morning to see if he could take me to the field.”

Here is what happened, according to Myers, Hamels and Phillies director of baseball communications Greg Casterioto.

Casterioto asked Myers if he had seen Hamels, who had requested a meeting with Charlie Manuel.

“He quit,” Myers cracked.

That is a common response from Myers and others in the Phillies clubhouse when somebody asks where somebody is. A few minutes later as Hamels and Casterioto stood in front of Hamels’ locker, Myers walked past and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit?”

Hamels replied with an expletive, which took Myers off guard.

“When you say, ‘Manny being Manny,’ or something like that, well, Brett was being Brett,” Manuel said. “Brett likes to throw that jab at you, and sometimes it doesn’t matter who’s around, and I think people when they hear that sometimes, they don’t know how to take it. I think that’s what happened. I think that was just actually Brett playing around, messing with him.”

Hamels probably is sensitive to the word “quit” these days after he told reporters following Game 3 of the World Series that he couldn’t wait for the season to end. Myers said he was unaware of Hamels’ comments following Game 3, although the comments were widespread and had upset some players inside the Phillies clubhouse.

Casterioto walked Hamels away from Myers, but not because he said he worried about the incident escalating. He said he needed to bring Hamels into Manuel’s office. Myers pulled Hamels aside to apologize.

“I apologized for really bad timing,” Myers said. “I also told him that he was talking to the master of people taking things out of context, so he shouldn’t worry what people think or write. I told him that if we get to Game 7 and he gets to pitch and he dominates, nobody will give a crap about what he said.”

Myers said he has talked with teammates about Hamels’ comments.

“I know Cole,” he said. “He didn’t mean what he said. I know him. I talk with him about stuff. I probably know him better than most guys on the team. What he said? That’s not him. I know he didn’t mean it that way.”

Manuel sounded like he would have Hamels pitch Game 7, if the World Series gets that far, but he would not commit. He also said he liked what he heard from Hamels when they met for about 15 minutes in his office.

“I know Hamels,” Manuel said. “I’ve been a Hamels guy ever since I seen him pitch in (Single A) Lakewood. I never, ever — I want you to listen to this — I never, ever questioned his mental toughness because he’s just as tough as anybody on our team. And I mean that. That part I’ve never, ever doubted. There’s definitely no quit in him, and I know he shows emotions at times, and he’s had like a freakish year and he’s going through a bad time, but at the same time he’ll get through it, and he’ll be the pitcher that you saw last year. That pitcher that you’ve been seeing for the last couple years, that’s who Hamels is. He is a gamer and he’s a fighter.”

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Hamels in Game 7? Got to Win Game 6 First.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hamels 0604.jpgIf the Phillies win Game 6, who pitches Game 7?

I think it is going to be Cole Hamels, but with a very short leash.

Hamels talked at length last night about his comments after Game 3 that he couldn’t wait for the season to end. It was a terrible thing to say, but his comments also were taken out of context. He initially was asked if he would like to pitch Game 7, considering how things fell apart for him. He said he would. He said he wanted redemption, and that he hoped everybody would have faith in him that he could do the job. Then Hamels got asked what he would think if he did not get a chance to pitch again this season. That is when he said he couldn’t wait for the season to end. Like I said, a terrible choice of words, but he wasn’t saying, “Gee, I can’t wait to book a trip to Mexico.”

Hamels said he spoke with Charlie Manuel before Game 5 to explain himself.

“I didn’t even know what I said or put out there,” Hamels said. “It was not what I was thinking. Sometimes you talk and you try to be as honest as possible and connect to people and you say things you didn’t really mean. I would never be here if I ever quit on anything. If I was ever too tired not to go through with any decision I would not be standing here.

“I think Charlie knows me. I think he’s managed me for quite a few years. I think the only doubt it left in people’s minds is the fans. That hurts because I love the city of Philadelphia. I play as hard as I possibly can. … I wasn’t able to sleep for the past couple nights because of that. … I’ll never ever quit. I want to play this game until somebody takes it away from me.”

A report last night that Brett Myers and Hamels had a heated exchange has been refuted by a Phillies official and a media member present when it happened. (Myers couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.) Myers walked past Hamels and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit?” An important note: Myers and Hamels are friends. It seems to be a case of a bad joke at a bad time because when Hamels responded with an expletive, some took this as the two sniping at each other other.

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Myers Makes World Series Roster


myers 1012.jpgBrett Myers
is back on the World Series roster.

Miguel Cairo is off.

“We felt like we needed another pitcher because of the moves that we’ve been making in situations,” Charlie Manuel said this evening at Yankee Stadium. “We ran through five pitchers in one inning over at the Dodgers (in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series). I feel like if those things happen again … we always need pitching. I feel like with Myers’ stuff and the face that he’s in better shape and he’s well and he’s ready to pitch, I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff.”

Cairo is off probably because the Phillies do not want to be in the same situation they were in during Game 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies when they had to play Cairo in left field. Eric Bruntlett has more experience playing in left field, having played there much of last season as a defensive replacement for Pat Burrell. Bruntlett also is an effective pinch-runner.

Myers was on the NLDS roster, but off the NLCS roster. He wasn’t sharp during the NLDS. In 2/3 inning in Game 2 against the Rockies, he hit a batter, walked a batter and intentionally walked another batter.

“I just asked Charlie to try to give me an opportunity to get sharp if there was a next round,” Myers said.

Myers made a mechanical adjustment, which he said has made a huge difference. Myers threw a simulated game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Pedro Feliz asked why he was trying so hard, throwing him three breaking balls and a fastball.

“I’m trying to make the team,” Myers said. “It was a tryout for me.”

It worked.

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Manuel said Ben Francisco definitely would be in the Game 1 lineup.

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How Will the Rotation Look?

Thumbnail image for lee b 1007.jpgHow would you set up the Phillies’ World Series rotation?

Charlie Manuel said earlier today he would discuss that with Rich Dubee, Ruben Amaro Jr. and others this weekend. I would not expect the Phillies to make an official announcement anytime soon, but it’s obvious that Cliff Lee will start Game 1. I would start Cole Hamels in Game 2, despite his recent struggles. As much as he has struggled — he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts this postseason — he still has one of the two best arms in the rotation. He was one botched double play from allowing one run through five innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. He allowed three solo homers in Game 5, but he wasn’t getting knocked around the ballpark (i.e. walking people and giving up four or five hits an inning). I still take my chances with him on the road.

I know everybody would like to see Pedro Martinez pitch Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, but I’d rather have him pitch Game 3 at home. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the NLCS. Martinez also is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. I’d rather have Martinez pitching in front of the home crowd in a place he has been more successful than in a place where he will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” chants.

Manuel said he more than likely will use right-hander Joe Blanton and left-hander J.A. Happ in the bullpen to start the series, but either of the could start Game 4. The Yankees have an .846 OPS against left-handers and an .837 OPS against right-handers. The Angels have a .793 OPS against right-handers and a .788 OPS against left-handers. Maybe they go with Blanton against the Yankees and Happ against the Angels, although Blanton is 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees and is 3-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 appearances against the Angels. Happ allowed four hits and two runs in six innings May 23 in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He has never faced the Angels.

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Lee said he would be willing to pitch on short rest, but I only see that happening if the Phillies drop their first two games and they get into desperation mode.

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Amaro said there remains a chance somebody like Brett Myers could make the postseason roster. Who would they bump? Left-hander Antonio Bastardo has faced just two batters this postseason. Maybe they go elsewhere.

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Myers' Last Pitch in Philly?

Thumbnail image for myers 0527.jpgA few reporters gathered around Ruben Amaro Jr. before Game 1 of the NLCS to ask him about Brett Myers, who wasn’t happy to be left off the NLCS roster.

Asked if Myers has thrown his last pitch for the Phillies, Amaro said just because the Phillies left him off their roster it doesn’t preclude them from re-signing him in the offseason. Asked after batting practice if the Phillies’ decision to leave him off the roster precludes him from wanting to come back, Myers shrugged his shoulders and said, “Who cares?”

It would be interesting to see how Myers would fit in the Phillies’ plans. They already have starters Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and others signed or under their control. Brad Lidge will be the closer. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero also are under contract.

“Are five starters going to do it for a season?” Amaro said. “We’re going to need 10. We’ll probably need 10 or 15 starters with how quickly they fall by the wayside. Jamie, we think he’s going to come back. He’s coming off major surgery. He will be 47. I’d like to think that we can count on him, but not necessarily. We haven’t thought that far down the line, but we’re still going to need a lot of pitching.”

Amaro said he doesn’t know if Myers’ future is as a starter or reliever.

“The beauty of Brett Myers is that he can do both,” Amaro said.

Myers was upset about the decision. Manuel said Myers shrugged his shoulders and said nothing as Manuel told him the news Wednesday.

“I guess he should be upset,” Amaro said. “It’s something that’s tough to take, especially after he worked so hard to get back. But we said it all along, we have to put the best 25 players we think it’s going to take to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether we made the right move or the wrong move, we felt it was the way to go.”

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Myers Off NLCS Roster, Park On


myers closer.jpgBrett Myers
said tonight that the Phillies have told him he is not on the NLCS roster.

“I’m (ticked),” he said.

Chan Ho Park will take his place, a team source said. Park has not pitched since Sept. 16 because of a strained right hamstring, but Park said he feels healthy. Myers said he had a feeling he would not be on the NLCS roster once the Phillies did not pitch him in Games 3 or 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Myers said he had nothing else to say, but the normally boisterous right-hander sounded hurt by the decision.

The Phillies also have decided to carry 11 pitchers in the NLCS, instead of the 12 they had in the NLDS.

Eric Bruntlett will be on the roster. He replaces Kyle Kendrick.

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The source also said Martinez will be starting Game 2 on Friday.

Pedro vs. Padilla!

Huzzah!

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Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

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Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

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Manuel Drops Hints about the Bullpen

Thumbnail image for happ 0720.jpgIt seems likely the Phillies take 13 position players and 12 pitchers into the postseason.

If there are just 13 position players they will be catchers Carlos Ruiz and Paul Bako; infielders Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and Eric Bruntlett; and outfielders Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco and Matt Stairs.

The pitching staff is not nearly as easy to call, but Charlie Manuel dropped a few hints today.

Expect left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee and right-hander Joe Blanton to be in the rotation. No surprise there. The fourth starter will be left-hander J.A. Happ or right-hander Pedro Martinez. Happ is 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA, while Martinez is 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA. Happ deserves to start, but the Phillies are short in the bullpen with injuries to left-handers J.C. Romero and Jamie Moyer and right-hander Chan Ho Park. Manuel said they could use Happ in the bullpen early in the NLDS, but still have him start if he only throws an inning in those first couple games.

“I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but that does enter my mind,” Manuel said.

That would leave 10 pitchers competing for seven remaining bullpen spots: Antonio Bastardo, Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Sergio Escalona, Scott Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers and Tyler Walker. Bastardo got recalled today, and he’s not here for the heck of it. He could make a good enough impression today or tomorrow to work his way onto the postseason roster, despite not pitching since June 25. (That shows just how shaky the bullpen is.)

Eyre and Myers both have battled injuries this month, but Manuel sounded like if they finish the season healthy they will be on the postseason roster.

“I think Scott Eyre definitely could pitch on lefties,” Manuel said. “I think Brett Myers has all the experience in the world. If he can go, I think he can help us in the bullpen because he’s done that.”

Is the closer Madson or Lidge?

“You’ve got Madson and you’ve got Brad,” Manuel said. “I’ve heard people talk. I’ve heard people say instead of using Brad use somebody else. But who else out there would you want on the mound if you were going to win or lose a game? Who would you want? Take your pick. I always get back to Lidge. I’ve got Madson and Lidge in there. Madson probably would be the guy I would go to today to win the game. But there’s going to come a point where Lidge is going to have to pitch and do the job.”

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The Phillies have clinched home-field advantage in the NLDS with St. Louis losing today to the Brewers.

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Taking Chorizo and Injury Updates


chorizo 1.jpgI’m abandoning the Polish in tonight’s sausage race for the Chorizo.

I’m pretty confident in my pick. I heard Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke is 2-for-2 this weekend in picking the sausage race winner at Miller Park. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to be 0-for-2.

Tonight I make my comeback.

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We’ve got injury updates for y’all:

  • Rich Dubee said Pedro Martinez (stiff neck) “will pitch when Pedro is healthy.” It is expected to be sometime next week. 
  • Left-hander J.C. Romero threw an inning in the Instructional League in Clearwater, Fla. He felt fine. If he feels OK tomorrow, Ruben Amaro Jr. said Romero could be activated Monday.
  • Brett Myers threw off the mound today, but just as a short test. He said he felt fine. Amaro said Myers could throw a full bullpen session Monday, a day earlier than had been scheduled.
  • Chan Ho Park threw about 30 pitches in Clearwater. He could throw a bullpen Monday.

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If Lidge Is Out, Who's In?



Thumbnail image for lidge knee.jpgCharlie Manuel
said yesterday he is prepared and willing to do whatever it takes to win games. Reading between the lines he meant Brad Lidge no longer is the team’s only option to close.

Ruben Amaro Jr. echoed those sentiments today.

Their words proved true a couple hours later when Lidge trotted to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Brewers beating the Phillies, 7-2.

“Our best club is to have Lidge pitch the ninth,” Amaro said. “Right now, he hasn’t been doing it effectively, and we’ll have to make an adjustment off that. … No decision has been made officially. Charlie is going to bring people in to pitch in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning that he feels will be most effective. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Lidge isn’t one of those guys. He still could be one of those guys. It could be (Ryan) Madson. It could be Lidge. It could be a host of guys. Obviously it will be different if we get some of the other guys back.”

Amaro said if J.C. Romero throws well tomorrow in Clearwater that he could be activated early next week. He said Chan Ho Park is throwing off the mound tomorrow. Park is “progressing pretty well.” Brett Myers could be back late next week.

“Hopefully we’ll have some choices for Charlie,” Amaro said.

Pedro Martinez does not appear to be one of those choices.

“Right now I don’t see that happening,” Amaro said. “Could it change? Maybe. Right now I think we view him as a starter for us. He’s been effective in that role.”

But while Martinez likely is not an option — Martinez takes a while to get loose, which would not be ideal for a late-inning reliever who needs to warm up quickly — J.A. Happ could be.

“I think he’s durable and right now he’s healthy,” Amaro said. “He’s got a durable arm. We had him in the bullpen last year so it won’t be anything new to him. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he is a guy we use in the bullpen. That would be up to Charlie and (pitching coach Rich) Dubee if they think he can do it. He hasn’t done anything to say he can’t. You don’t know until he gets in that situation.

“As I said before, it may take some guys to step up and pitch in different roles they’re not typically accustomed to. And Brad may be asked to do something different than he’s been doing for us. Again, at the end of the day it’s about how we can get the last six or nine outs. … We’d rather have the seventh, eighth and ninth locked up like we have in the past, but this isn’t a perfect world unfortunately.”

Asked about his confidence in Lidge, Amaro said, “I’m confident that he’s had the experience of doing it. He has not performed the way I think he knows he can perform and the way we know he can perform. He’ll show us how confident we are in him.”

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