So far so bad for Brett Myers
To this point Brett Myers has not transitioned well into the role of closer for the Astros. Myers was touched up for three runs by the Blue Jays today and has yet to toss a scoreless inning in three attempts this spring. Myers allowed a run to Washington in the opener and the Mets split-squad scored against him on Tuesday.
I know it’s still early but I do think there is reason for concern. Last season Myers often ran into trouble in the first inning and settled into his comfort zone as the game progressed. Myers allowed twelve of his 31 homers last season within his first 30 pitches of the game. His BAA (batting average against) was .267 last season but was .385 for the first 15 pitches of the game and .301 for the next 15 pitches. Obviously there is a different mindset that a pitcher takes with him to the mound when closing games rather than starting, but Myers seems to be struggling with the transition.
With the exception of Brandon Lyon, Myers is the only pitcher on the roster who has experience closing out games in the big leagues. But it has been five years since Myers performed in the role and he has become a dependable starter since that time. Jeff Luhnow and Brad Mills knew moving Myers to closer would be a risky proposition, and they are prepared to ride out the storm. Myers will probably be given every chance to right the ship before the experiment is abandoned. If Myers continues to fail Wilton Lopez could be another option. Lopez has been perfect in two ninth inning appearances this spring. It looks like Lopez is once again healthy and has rediscovered his pinpoint control. Stay tuned as the Myers experiment continues.