Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brett Myers to start Opening Day

It looks like Brett Myers will go from closer to number one starter. In a somewhat surprising move, the Phillies announced that Myers will be their starting pitcher on Opening Day against the Nationals. Most people assumed that Cole Hamels would start on Opening Day because he is widely considered the Phillies best pitcher. Analyzing the rotation it becomes clear that making Myers the first pitcher in the rotation allows the Phillies to alternate their lefties and righties a little more. Putting lefty Cole Hamels as the second pitcher and lefty Jamie Moyer as the fourth allows the Phillies to play with the match-ups a little more, and it breaks up the right-handed pitching.

This could also be a question of loyalty. Charlie Manuel could be showing Myers that he appreciates the way Myers put the team first in making the move from a closer to a starter. This will also be the second year in a row that Myers is the Opening Day starter for the Phils.

Beerleaguer has a great take on this situation, and points out that this will actually give Cole Hamels the ball in some key games in the first month, including a possible matchup against Johan Santana and the Mets.

*Minor Move The Phillies also claimed infielder Ray Olmedo off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. There is no way this guy is going to make the team, so he will be an emergency call-up that will stay in AAA most of the year. Baseball Prospectus describes Olmedo as a marginal utility infielder.

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