I’m not going to try to explain what’s going on in Philadelphia. Moving Brett Myers to the bullpen? It’s so bizarre, and so foolish, that I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around it. But it’s reality, and we need to talk about what it means for us in the fantasy world.
No question about it: Myers has been atrocious. He has an 8.82 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, and he’s allowed five homers in just 16 1/3 innings.
Myers is going to rebound, though. I expect him to go to the bullpen and turn things around. I expect him back in the rotation before long. I expect him to pitch well once he returns to starting.
Why so confident? Let us count the ways:
1. Myers has a quality track record. He’s been very good the last two years: 3.72 ERA in 2005, 3.91 last season. That’s the real Brett Myers, and the lousy 16 1/3 innings he’s pitched thus far aren’t enough to change that. Sixteen innings is a miniscule sample size and doesn’t mean two fine years were a fluke.
2. Myers’ strikeout rate is fine. The righty has whiffed 20 in 16 1/3 innings, so the stuff is still there.
3. Myers has had stinky stretches before but always managed to rebound. Look at last year: Myers had a 7.13 ERA in June … and 2.35 ERA in July. Then he had a 6.62 ERA in August … and 2.68 mark in September. Why can’t he do the same this year?
4. Myers’ home-run rate has exploded, but his struggles here are a bit fluky.
Gopheritis has long been Myers’ nemesis. The last three years, he’s allowed 31, 31 and 29 home runs. This season he’s taken things to a new level, allowing five dingers in 16 1/3 innings. At that rate he’d give up 61 homers if he pitched 200 innings.
The problem here is easy to spot. Check out Myers’ ground ball-to-fly ball ratios:
As you can see, Myers’ fly-ball rate has exploded. No wonder he’s allowing so many homers. However, I think this problem is a fluke, a small-sample-size anomaly. Sixteen fly ball-laden innings doesn’t mean Myers is now a fly-ball pitcher. Now, if he’s giving up this many flies at the All-Star break, then we’ll talk. But for now we can’t really be concerned.
Myers’ fly-ball rate should return to normal before long, and with that, his gopheritis can be maintained at a reasonable level.
I would buy low. Get Myers now for next to nothing, stash him on your bench for a while … then enjoy when he turns things around and re-enters the rotation.