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Phillies may take Myers out of rotation again


Phillies may take Myers out of rotation again
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Struggling right-hander Brett Myers could soon be out of Philadelphia's starting rotation and back in the bullpen.

Since winning consecutive decisions in mid-April, Myers (3-9, 5.84 ERA in 17 starts) is 1-8 in his last 13 starts. The NL East-leading Phillies have won only two of those games.

Manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee talked to Myers before the game Saturday night in Texas, a night after Myers gave up five runs and was pulled without recording an out in the third inning of an 8-7 loss to the Rangers.

While Manuel didn't announce any changes, it was clear he and Dubee aren't pleased with how things are going in Myers' return to the rotation.

"I talked to (Myers) for quite a while. He's struggling and trying to find it. Whatever he tries doesn't seem to work," Manuel said. "I'll think about what I want to do the next few days and we'll come up with something. We don't have a lot of options."

Myers refused to speak to reporters after Friday night's game, and declined interview requests Saturday made through a team spokesman.

Dubee said Myers' struggles have been a combination of mental approach and mechanical problems. One example came Friday night after Rangers leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler hit a home run on the second pitch Myers threw.

"His second fastball got hit out of the ballpark and he went away from it," Dubee said. "We keep chatting, keep instructing, trying to push the right buttons. ... There's flaws (in his delivery). I'd like to see him change more."

The first five batters in the third inning reached against Myers.

"Last game, I thought he changed pretty good. His command of his fastball was very good and he mixed well," Dubee said. "But he went back a couple steps (Friday)."

Myers was a starter his first five major league seasons, then began last year in the rotation. He made only three starts before 48 relief appearances, serving as the closer with 21 saves.

In his lone victory since April, Myers struck out 11 over eight innings in a 12-3 victory over Florida on May 30.

With an off day Monday, the Phillies could skip Myers' next turn in the rotation, Thursday at Atlanta. Or they could move setup man Chad Durbin (2-1, 1,47 ERA in 30 games) into the rotation.

Dubee said the Phillies don't have to make the decision before Tuesday. But he's not sure if a return to the bullpen would make Myers more comfortable.

"I get different reads on him," Dubee said. "He's a hard read."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 29, 2008

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