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Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:27 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 11:04 am
Brett Myers

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Astros' search for a closer has led them to their own rotation. Brett Myers, Houston's opening-day starter a season ago, will close this season, manager Brad Mills told reporters on Tuesday.

Houston Astros
Myers has been a starter in all but one of his 10 years in the majors, closing for the Phillies in 2007. Last year he was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 34 games, 33 of those starts. In 2007, he had 21 saves after moving from the team's opening-day starter to the back of its bullpen. He had a 4.33 ERA overall that season, but had a 2.87 ERA in 48 appearances as a reliever.

The team approached Myers about the switch after he reported to camp. Houston signed Lian Hernandez and Zach Duke to minor-league deals in the offseason to join the rotation with Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ. The team also has Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa and Kyle Weiland competing for a starting spot.

"From my standpoint, we have some depth in the rotatiton between Duke, Livan, Happ, Sosa and Harrell and all the young guys," Luhnow told reporters, including Brian McTaggert of "We feel like we're in pretty good shape there and have some choices. We felt like we were a little exposed in the bullpen and having a guy who's been successful in that role and who's got the mentality and stuff to do well takes the pressure off of Brandon Lyon coming off an injury and doesn't put pressure on young kids like David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez."

Lyon started the season as the team's closer last season, but was injured early in the season. Mark Melancon took over, picking up 20 saves. The Astros traded Melancon to the Red Sox for infielder Jed Lowrie and Weiland in December.

Myers, 31, is in the second year of a two-year deal paying him $11 million this season. The Astros have a $10 million club option (with a $3 million buyout) for 2013 that vests based on his number of starts. According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the team has adjusted Myers' option in accordance to his new role.

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Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:44 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Interesting. I did not know that the Astros had a plethora of starting pitching depth. I guess this move is to make room in the rotation for guys like Livan Hernandez.

Astros = phail.

Sorry, but this wreck is going to get even uglier in the AL.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:10 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

This seems a whole lot less about whether Myers is a closer than it is about seeing whether some young bucks can be rotation guys.
If he is 70 percent successful, that will probably be enough. My guess is they will try to deal him at the deadline anyway.

Since: Oct 28, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:21 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Good move by Astros organization. They wont be leading many games, but they have to make sure the few leads have dont get squandered. Myers was serviceable and even dominant at times at the Phillies closer. Myers struggled last season getting pass the 5th and six innings last season, so this will definitely be a good move for him and in two years he will be on the market getting top closer money.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:06 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

I'm sure Brett will enjoy being the closer for the worst team in MLB.
There's a couple of things to consider here.

First, Myers has a much better shot being traded away as a reliever than he does as a starter.  For the last few years, Minute Maid Park has favored pitchers statistically yet Myers' numbers last year weren't that impressive.  As a starter, Myers would have been either the 2nd or 3rd man on the staff depending on how J.A. Happ was throwing.  He's naturally going to get harder matchups as the #2 guy and the Astros are not going to win a ton of games this season.  Myers should enjoy being the closer instead of getting lit up as a starter every five days.

Second, Myers has a vesting option for 2013 that, if negotiated away, could make this a walk year for him instead. If his body is right and he does the job coming out of the pen, he could command far more money in a year when closers are few and far between in the 2012-13 offseason.  If you check the potential free agent list for 2013 now, the only pitchers who have a job as a team's closer now are Mariano Rivera (ain't going anywhere), Joachim Soria (KC), and Huston Street (SD).  There are others with closing experience, but only a handful actually have the job at the beginning of 2012.  That could mean a nice fat deal for Myers if he plays his cards right.

Finally, since Myers may see few opportunities to close a game, pitching in save opportuntities may come more spaced out instead of some teams where it feels like the chance is there almost every day.  There's got to be less pressure playing for a losing team when you may only be asked to close out forty or so games.  Compare that to Papelbon in Philly or Rivera in NY who may be asked to take the ball 50-60 times in pressure games with a pennant on the line.

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:05 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Please tell me you're being facetious about your inability to name more than one member of the starting lineup.

And if there was any halfway decent trade proposal, Carlos Lee would be out the door. No team wants to pick up the $18.5mil he is due this year. The Astros are going to have to agree to pay at least half of that to any potential trade partner.

The Astros are the worst they've ever been, yes. But, the future isn't all that bad. We just have to hope Crane doesn't keep payroll under $60mil forever. 

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:04 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

At least they play up to their payroll unlike the Yankees. Here's to another overhyped, overpayed, underacheiving season.

Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:31 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

C'mon Man, Get off of the Astros. In order to be great sometimes you must start over. These bad times will not last forever. I'm a true Astros fan and I can only name one in the starting lineup and that's carols Lee. I really wish they would trade him for prospects. Trying to win quickly through trades is what got us in this position, trading away the best players in our farm system for rent a players like Randy Johnson and carols Beltran. I hope that we do it right all home grown talent

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:36 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

I`m sure Brett will enjoy being the closer for the worst team in MLB.  Anything is better than Brandon Lyon. Can anyone name anyone in their starting 9??  

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:26 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

He gets to have his "Rockstar" status back again.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Rather artsy photo of Myers. Not sure what it does for the team but it's a very nice artsy photo.

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